BY OLIVIA BEAVERS – The HILL
Democrats are renewing their calls for gun reform after reports of a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday.
Multiple people are dead after gunfire erupted at the church, which is not far outside San Antonio, according to reports. The shooter used an AR-15, semi-automatic military style rifle and multiple clips of ammunition to kill 26 parishioners and wounded 20 more.
Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Dick Durbin(Ill.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) were among the Democrats who urged Congress to act in response to the latest deadly shooting.
“I’m thinking of and praying for all those impacted by the shooting in Texas. In addition to offering my prayers and thoughts I also believe Congress must take action on gun violence,” Casey wrote in two separate tweets.
“The shooter turned his gun on people — kids — in a place of worship. America is in the grips of a gun violence crisis. Congress must act,” Durbin tweeted.
Harris, a possible 2020 presidential contender, also condemned “senseless gun violence” after the shooting.
“Enough is enough,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a series of tweets. “Now is the time for commonsense gun violence prevention steps. Congressional complicity must end.”
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) also joined their colleagues in condemning the lack of action.
“When will this end? When will we decide that we can’t accept massacres in our places of worship, schools, or at concerts? When will we actually do something about it?” Feinstein wrote in a statement.
“Thoughts & prayers are not enough, GOP. We must end this violence. We must stop these tragedies. People are dying while you wait,” Warren wrote in one tweet.
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, called on his Congressional colleagues to show “courage” and take a stand against gun violence.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), meanwhile, released a lengthy statement in which he called on his colleagues in Congress to hold themselves accountable.
“Ask yourself – how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents,” Murphy wrote.
Witnesses said an armed man walked into the First Baptist Church around 11:30 a.m. and opened fire.
The attack comes more than a month after the nation’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history, in which a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.
President Trump, who’s embarking on a 12-day trip to Asia, tweeted shortly after reports of the shooting surfaced. “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan,” Trump wrote. Trump did not condemn gun violence instead he attributed the shooting to “mental illness of the perpetrator”.