An emotional Amy Schumer joined her cousin U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer Monday to call on Congress to create new gun control measures in the wake of mass shootings like the one during a showing of her movie "Trainwreck" in Louisiana last month.
The star held back tears, saying she was heartbroken by the deaths of two women and wounding of nine others watching the film in Lafayette, Louisiana.
"These shootings have got to stop," she said at a news conference at the senator's midtown office. "I don't know how else to say it ... It broke my heart."
Amy Schumer appeared on "The Daily Show" on Monday night, where she said "I was legit heartbroken to get that news" about the shooting.
John Russell Houser, who reportedly suffered from mental illness, opened fire during a July 23 evening showing before turning the gun on himself. Amy Schumer, 34, refused to say his name but choked up reading the biographies of the murdered victims Mayci Breaux and Jillian Johnson.
"I'm not sure why this man chose my movie to end these two beautiful lives and injure nine others, but it was very personal for me," she said.
Sen. Schumer, the second cousin of Amy Schumer's father, said Congress has failed to act despite public outrage because of strong lobbying from the NRA and other gun rights groups.
He proposed three pieces of legislation: one that would create monetary rewards for states that submit all necessary records into the national gun background check system, and penalties for states that don't cooperate; another would push the Department of Justice to create a report on how states deal with mental health treatment; the third would increase funding for treatment centers.
"We all know there is a Second Amendment ... But no amendment is absolute," Sen. Schumer said.
The NRA did not issue a comment or statement following the news conference Monday.
Several gun control groups, including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, praised the actress and senator for their activism.
"We are grateful that the Schumers are using their public platforms to join together to fight for gun sense and say we must do more to keep guns out of dangerous hands," said Shannon Watts, the group's founder, in a statement.
Christina Greer, assistant professor of political science at Fordham University, said using celebrities to push political agendas has always been a double edge sword, but Amy Schumer's powerful cultural presence and connection to the issue can only help the cause.
"It's not like she's choosing something out of the blue, so she can make the case better," she said.
Amy Schumer said she expects opposition to her gun control support, but won't back down from pushing "common sense" legislation.
"I want to be proud of the way I'm living and what I stand for," she said.