WASHINGTON — The House narrowly passed an assault weapons ban on Friday, following a series of mass shootings this summer that have claimed many victims and shocked the nation.
This is the first assault weapons ban to pass the House in nearly 30 years, when Congress A law enacted as part of a comprehensive Crimes Bill in 1994. The ban ended in 2004.
The bill passed overwhelmingly 217-213, with nearly every Democrat in favor and nearly every Republican against. It marks a stark contrast to the gun reform package that passed both chambers in June with bipartisan support.
Rap. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., represents Gilroy, California, where a gunman opened fire at the annual Garlic Festival in July 2019, killing three and wounding 17.
“The killer who killed my constituents couldn’t buy an assault weapon in California, so he just went to Nevada and bought it there,” she said on the floor Friday before the vote. “Americans deserve to be safe and free from fear that children will be destroyed when they go to school.”
The ban is expected to fail in the Senate where at least 10 Republicans would have to join each of the 50 Democrats to overcome an expected filibuster. however, It’s unclear whether West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin will support it.
No vote is yet scheduled in the Senate, which plans to adjourn for a month-long recess on August 8. And with recent COVID-19 exposure keeping senators off the floor, along with the recovery of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., from hip surgery, it’s unlikely the Senate will vote on the ban next week.
President Joe Biden praised the House vote.
“The vast majority of the American people agree with this common sense course of action,” he said in a statement issued by the White House. The Senate “must move quickly to bring this bill to my desk, and I will not stop fighting until it does. There is no greater responsibility than to do what we can to ensure the safety of our families, our children, our homes.” Can’t be. Our communities and our nation.”
GOP: Prohibition Impedes Second Amendment Rights
Republicans criticized the bill as infringing on gun rights Prevent gun violence deaths.
Many pointed to a 2008 US Supreme Court decision (District of Columbia v. Heller), which established that firearms in “common use” are used for legitimate purposes such as Self-defense is protected under the Second Amendment. Because of the popularity of such weapons AR-15 and established use for self-defense, they said the House bill is unconstitutional.
“Democrats are once again considering legislation that will do nothing but penalize law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to prevent gun violence,” Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., said in the House. floor before voting. “This is just the latest in House Democrats’ never-ending assault on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
Friday’s House vote comes just weeks after Congress passed a bipartisan gun reform bill last month that increases background checks on youth buyers, provides more money for school security and mental health services, boosts “red flag” laws and Controls domestic attacks. Closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole”.
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The House passed the bill on Friday Makes it illegal for anyone to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon. This bill does not apply to any possession or sale of semiautomatic weapons prior to its passage.
The bill makes exceptions for any manually operated shotgun, guns that are permanently inoperable and antique firearms.
During negotiations on bipartisan gun reform and after the bill passed, Democrats continued to push for further action to prevent mass shootings, pointing out that more Americans died from gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among children.
AR-15 style rifles were involved in the Uvalde, Buffalo, Parkland shootings
Republicans have criticized the assault ban as ineffective in combating gun violence, because assault weapons are responsible. 3% of homicides in 2020. Mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas (2022), Buffalo (2022), Parkland, Florida (2018), Las Vegas (2017), and Newtown, Connecticut (2012) all involved AR-15 style rifles.
Rap. Thomas Massey, R-Ky., criticized Democrats for rushing the bill to the floor on Friday, saying the ban would “target millions of gun owners who use these types of firearms every week.” He pointed out that from 1994 to 2004 — when assault weapons were banned — 2 million assault-style weapons went into circulation.
House Democrats intended to include it as part of the assault weapons ban A package of law enforcement measures that would increase funding for police and create a grant program to hire additional local officers. House progressives have criticized the measure, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told colleagues on Friday that she would continue to work on the reform package but would immediately put a vote on the assault weapons ban on the floor.
The vote comes this week at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing where major gun manufacturers testified before Congress for the first time in nearly 30 years. These manufacturers include Daniel Defense, which sold the assault weapon used in the Uwald Elementary School shooting., and Ruger Firearms, the largest firearms manufacturer in the US
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The committee’s ongoing investigation into gun makers shows that the five major gun manufacturers have collected more than $1 billion from sales of assault rifles over the past decade.
Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney, D.N.C., said at the hearing that gun manufacturers use “dangerous sales tactics to sell assault weapons to the public,” including “marketing to children, preying on youth insecurities and appealing to violent whites.” Supremacists.”
Rap. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., represents Highland Park and was in the Independence Day parade when a shooter killed seven people. He said Wednesday that he is pushing his colleagues to support an assault weapons ban.
“The shooter was able to fire his bullets so quickly that he didn’t even know where they were coming from. Without an assault weapon, the shooter in Highland Park probably wouldn’t have inflicted the extreme carnage we experienced,” Schneider said. . “These weapons were made for carnage.”