House passes bill that would ban assault weapons for the first time since 2004. As a signal that Democrats intend to pursue more strong gun violence prevention measures in the wake of a string of mass shootings, the House of Representatives on Friday voted in favor of legislation that would make it the first time since 2004 that assault weapons would be prohibited.
The bill was approved by a vote of 217–213, with two Republicans voting in favor of the proposal and five Democrats voting against it. The vote was primarily along party lines.
It is quite doubtful that the law would move forward in the Senate, which is evenly split down the middle. This is given the magnitude of resistance from Republicans. In order to overcome a certain filibuster, the bill will need the backing of at least ten Republicans. In addition, it is unclear whether all fifty Democrats in the Senate are on board with the legislation.
The measure would make it illegal to knowingly engage in the sale, production, transfer and ownership. Also, on the importation of a wide variety of semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding systems. It was drafted by Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island.
Joe Biden applauded Democrats in the House for their success. This is in passing the measure and asking their Senate counterparts to do the same.
“Guns are the number one killer of children in the United States. More children die from guns than active-duty police. Also active-duty military combined, so we have to act,” he said in a statement. “When more children die from guns than active-duty police and active-duty military combined, we have to act.”
House passes bill that would ban assault weapons for the first time since 2004
“Today, House Democrats took action by coming together to approve an assault weapons prohibition. This is in order to keep weapons of war off of our streets and save lives in our nation. Also, reduce crime in our communities,” said the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In addition to this, he stated that the Senate needed to “act rapidly to bring this law to my desk. I will not stop fighting until it happens.”
During the floor discussion before the vote on Friday, Democrats in the House said that a ban on assault weapons was needed. This is because of the number of recent murders that were carried out with weapons that were similar to assault rifles.
According to Nancy Pelosi, “our nation has watched in indescribable horror. This is as assault rifles have been deployed in slaughter after slaughter in communities around the country.” Because a ban on assault weapons has been successful in the past, we are certain that it will continue to do so in the future.
Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who serves as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, posed the following question: “How many more instances of mass shootings are we going to have to go through?” When are we going to get it? “
The legislation was approved by the Judiciary Committee. This was the week before along party lines with a vote of 25 to 18.
On Friday, Republicans in the House of Representatives argued that the bill was illegal. Also, that Democrats sought to take away people’s weapons.
Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio and the leading Republican on the Judiciary Committee, stated that “today, they’re coming for your weapons.” They aim to remove all firearms from the hands of all citizens.
This legislation, he continued, “would make communities, in my opinion, less safe.”
Some types of guns, like antiques, rifles and shotguns, can be identified by make and model. Guns that can be handled by hand in more than one way, would not have to follow the rules set by the ban on assault weapons.
In 1994, then-President Bill Clinton gave his signature. That is, to a measure that banned the sale of assault weapons for a period of ten years. It was no longer valid after 2004. Multiple studies, including one that was published in 2019 in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, have demonstrated that the number of people who died as a result of mass shootings decreased during the years that the ban was in force.
Senate Republicans say they won’t support any new gun control measures. This is after passing bipartisan gun control legislation last month that included juvenile records in background checks and gave money to states so they could make “red flag” laws.
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The five Democrats in the House who voted against the ban on assault rifles and other similar weapons were Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Jared Golden of Maine, and Ron Kind of Wisconsin, among the five Democrats.
Chris Jacobs, a representative from New York, and Brian Fitzpatrick, a representative from Pennsylvania, were the two Republicans who defected from their party to vote in favor of the plan. Jacobs’ district included the city of Buffalo, which was the location of a racist mass shooting in May that claimed the lives of ten African Americans and was carried out by a white shooter.
In a brief interview after the vote was over, Jacobs expressed his hope that the vote would “start the discourse towards something” even though he did not anticipate that the Senate would adopt the measure.
“I’m not being unreasonable in thinking that this will eventually be resolved. “At this moment in time, the Senate does not give the impression that they are inclined to do it,” he added.
After the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, the argument for stricter gun laws has gained support in Congress and in polls of American public opinion.
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Concerns about midterm elections
In addition, the desire of Democrats to gain an advantage over Republicans on the topic of crime in the run-up to the midterm elections in November is a driving force behind the campaign for stricter gun control laws.
A vote on the assault weapons prohibition was scheduled to take place earlier this week. This will be in the House of Representatives with a vote on legislation to boost money for local police forces.
However, members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other progressives objected to the latter provisions. They demanded more accountability measures in exchange for financial support. On Friday, they came to an agreement that will allow them to move forward with only the assault weapons prohibition.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Pelosi said that the House will keep working on the measure to support the police department. This is in preparation for future consideration.
Rep. Joyce Beatty, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, expressed to reporters that she was pleased with the CBC’s leadership in striking a compromise on Friday and that she was thankful to Pelosi for listening to their concerns.
Beatty is also appreciative of Pelosi for her role in leading the CBC. She said that the decision about assault weapons was “step one” in dealing with violence and police problems.
“We have folks from Uvalde and Parkland who are here today with those youngsters, urging us to make sure that we implement an assault ban. We have people from Uvalde and Parkland here with us today.” Now, are we done? No, we’re not done.
She stated, “We will come back and we will look at the guardrails that we are putting in.” This is in reference to the mass shooting. That is, the one that occurred in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The vote on Friday comes just a few days after the House Oversight Committee held a contentious hearing. This is the one in which Democrats pressed gun manufacturers to take responsibility for their role. That is, in the gun violence epidemic and took a look at what they termed “disturbing sales tactics.” This is to get young men to buy assault weapons.
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