A bill that bans assault-style weapons was passed by the U.S House of Representatives Friday and now heads to the Senate.
The House narrowly passed the legislation with a 217-213 vote, where two republicans voted "Yes" and five democrats voted "No". The bill prohibits the sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
Those who voted against the bill include democrats Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, and Kurt Schrader of Oregon. Almost all republicans voted against the bill, except for Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Chris Jacobs of New York.
The legislation is not expected to pass the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster.
In a statement, President Joe Biden said that “the majority of the American people agree with this common sense action” and urged the senate to “move quickly to get this bill to my desk”.
“I will not stop fighting until it does. There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can do to ensure the safety of our families, our children, our homes, our communities, and our nations,” Biden wrote in a statement.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the assault weapons ban is “a crucial step in our ongoing fight against the deadly epidemic of gun violence in our nation.”
"Our nation has watched in unspeakable horror as assault weapons have been used in massacre after the massacre in communities across the country. And disturbingly, so many of these mass shootings have targeted our precious children. In their schools, at the movies, at the malls, and throughout our communities. That is why I rise today in strong support of reinstating the assault weapons ban, a long-overdue step to get deadly weapons off our streets," Pelosi said during a speech on the House Floor.
In a statement after the vote, Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legal Action said, “barely a month after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, gun control advocates in Congress are spearheading an assault upon the freedoms and civil liberties of law-abiding Americans”.
According to Quimet, the ban could impact more than 24 million firearms.
“Any legitimate attempt to address our nation's surge in violent crime cannot commence until anti-gun legislators step away from the radicals who defund our police departments, support prosecutors who refuse to prosecute dangerous criminals, and promote no cash bail policies that have turned once proud communities into a playground of lawlessness and fear.”
According to reporting by the Associated Press, the House will revisit the public safety bills in August when lawmakers are expected to return briefly to Washington.