Led by Rep. John Lewis, House Democrats laid it on the line: No summer break unless we get a vote on gun violence. #NoBillNoBreak

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis is leading a sit-in on the House floor in an effort to force votes on background checks and the denial of gun sales to those on the no-fly terror watch list.

In a compelling statement, he pleaded with House leadership: “Let us vote. We came here to work. The American people are demanding action. Do we have the courage? Do we have raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America?”

“We have been too quiet for too long,” he said. “There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise. When you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more, the time for silence is over.”

Lewis and roughly 40 House Democrats stood briefly, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and then returned to the floor, chanting “No bill, no break!”

As the afternoon meeting was gavelled into session, the protesters remained on the floor.

We support the Democratic House members who have the courage and tenacity to take a stand on behalf of the majority of Americans who want action on gun reform.

(Photo via Rep. Donna Edwards/Twitter)