Politics

House Passes Assault Weapons Ban That Is Doomed in Senate

WASHINGTON — Responding to a string of mass shootings, a divided House handed a ban on assault weapons on Friday, transferring over the near-unanimous opposition of Republicans to reinstate a prohibition that expired practically twenty years in the past.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the measure, which handed 217 to 213, as a “crucial step in our ongoing fight against the deadly epidemic of gun violence in our nation.” Only two Republicans, Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Chris Jacobs of New York, joined Democrats in supporting the invoice.

Five Democrats voted in opposition to the measure: Representatives Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.

The laws would make it unlawful to promote, manufacture, switch, possess or import assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding gadgets. It stands no probability of passing in the evenly divided Senate, the place such a sweeping gun management measure wouldn’t be capable to win over the ten Republicans it might want to beat a filibuster.

Still, the vote offered a manner for Democrats to reveal to voters months earlier than the midterm elections that they had been attempting to handle the epidemic of gun violence in America. The motion in the House got here after a spate of mass shootings, together with one in Uvalde, Texas, the place a gunman wielding an AR-15-style weapon killed 19 elementary faculty college students and two lecturers. The vote additionally gave Democrats one other alternative to attract a pointy distinction with Republicans.

Earlier this month, the House handed laws to make sure entry to contraception nationwide, in addition to main protections for abortion and same-sex marriage. While Democratic senators are hopeful that they may be capable to go the same-sex marriage laws, virtually all Republicans in Congress are united in their opposition to the contraception and abortion payments.

The debate on assault weapons on Friday got here a couple of month after the enactment of bipartisan gun security laws, a compromise measure to toughen background checks for potential patrons youthful than 21 that aimed to maintain weapons out of the arms of harmful individuals.

That measure omitted stricter gun management measures that Democrats have lengthy demanded and most Republicans have opposed as infringements on the correct to bear arms.

“Weapons of war are designed for war,” Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas, stated on Friday, lamenting that such firearms are “easier for a teenager to get than to buy a beer.”

He dismissed the lately enacted regulation as a “weak, modest measure.”

Republicans argued that AR-15-style weapons are common sporting rifles that law-abiding residents use for self-defense and looking. And they dismissed the assault weapons invoice as an try by liberals to trample on gun rights whereas doing nothing to handle the foundation causes of crime.

“Let’s call this for what it is: It’s a gun grab, pure and simple,” stated Representative Guy Reschenthaler, Republican of Pennsylvania. “This bill is not about public safety. Rather, this is the most severe restriction on the Second Amendment since the passage of the assault weapons ban of 1994.”

While the vote on Friday united Democrats, the assault weapons ban generated an intense inner debate that uncovered divisions over the difficulty of regulation enforcement and crime, a theme that Republicans have signaled will likely be a serious ingredient of their marketing campaign assaults on Democrats earlier than the midterm elections.

Democrats had initially deliberate to pair the vote to ban assault weapons with laws that would supply extra funding to native police departments. Moderate Democrats from conservative-leaning districts argued that passing the police funding would blunt Republican accusations that Democrats are tender on crime and bent on defunding the police.

But the police laws drew criticism from progressives and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who insisted that extra police accountability measures needs to be included. With the House’s August recess set to start this weekend, Democratic leaders determined to carry a vote solely on the assault weapons invoice.

Ms. Pelosi stated on Friday that lawmakers would proceed to work on the police laws after returning to Washington later in the summer time.

“The American people are tired of living in fear,” stated Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. “They are tired of thoughts and prayers. They are tired of press releases offering sympathy but no solutions.”

“This is not a radical idea,” he added. “We are not in uncharted territory.”

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