WASHINGTON – Democrats want Republicans to allow House votes on Democratic-backed gun control bills, and they haven't ruled out a return to disruptive tactics if they're rebuffed.
With GOP leaders planning roll calls next week on their proposal making it harder for some terror suspects to acquire firearms, Democrats on Friday demanded accompanying votes on two measures they prefer.
If House Speaker Paul Ryan says no, members plan to have further discussions about possible actions, said a Democratic aide who described a conference call among party lawmakers. The aide said no specific options were discussed.
Democrats staged a House floor sit-in that lasted nearly 26 hours last week to call attention to their demand for gun-control votes.
That followed the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, when 49 victims died and which heightened attention on the national toll taken by firearms. It also brought a focus on terrorism because the gunman expressed support for the Islamic State extremist group in phone calls with officials during his attack, according to transcripts of those conversations.
Republicans responded to the building pressure on Thursday, when they announced next week's vote.
The GOP bill would let the government block firearms purchases for suspected terrorists, but only if prosecutors can prove in court that the buyer is involved in terrorism. It would also establish a new office within the Department of Homeland Security to focus on preventing extremist groups from recruiting followers.
In a written statement, Ryan, R-Wis., called the GOP bill "a responsible measure that confronts this threat while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens."
Democrats say the Republican bill is too weak. They want votes on one measure expanding background check requirements for gun buyers, and a second banning firearms sales to terror suspects without requiring prosecutors to first prove the buyer was embarking on terrorism.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly describe the Democrats' decisions.
Aides to Ryan did not immediately return messages asking whether the speaker had responded to the Democrats' request.