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House committee approves first assault weapons ban bill in decades


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The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday proposed a bill banning assault weapons, but it’s unclear whether the legislation has enough support to pass a floor vote.

Democratic Representatives Jared Golden, D-Maine, and Henry Cuellar, D-Texas said they would not support the bill while Republican Representatives Chris Jacobs, RN.Y., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. , have said they are open to voting for a ban, according to The Hill. House Democrats have a margin of four votes.

The 2021 assault weapons ban was brought forward in a 25-18 vote, but a date for a House vote has not been set.

“As we have learned all too well in recent years, assault weapons – especially when combined with high-capacity magazines – are the weapon of choice for mass shootings,” the president said. of the committee, Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., during the markup of the bill. “These military-style weapons are designed to kill the most people in the least amount of time. Quite simply, there’s no place for them on our streets.”

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Assault rifles are displayed inside a gun store in Dallas, Texas September 13, 2004.
(REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell JM)

Rank member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, argued that the bill would take away the rights of gun owners.

“Democrats know this legislation won’t reduce violent crime or the likelihood of mass shootings, but they are obsessed with attacking the Second Amendment freedoms of law-abiding Americans,” he said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said, “They’re coming for your guns.”

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AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania on October 6, 2017.

AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania on October 6, 2017.
(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo)

The bill would make it a crime to “import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess a semi-automatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeder” , according to the summary of the bill. A few exceptions would be made.

This would not include “a firearm that is (1) manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever, or slide; (2) permanently unusable; (3) an antique; or (4) a rifle or a shotgun specifically identified by its make and model.”

The bill was first introduced in March last year.

Speaker Jerry Nadler, D.N.Y., attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill July 14, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Speaker Jerry Nadler, D.N.Y., attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill July 14, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The bill follows the most sweeping gun control bill passed by the Senate in 30 years following a series of mass shootings, including an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Utah. Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have also called for an assault weapons ban.

“Assault weapons must be banned,” Biden said last week at the White House while celebrating the signing of the bipartisan gun law. “They were banned. I led the fight in 1994. And then under pressure from the NRA and gun manufacturers and others, that ban was lifted in 2004. In those 10 years where it was the law, mass shootings have decreased.”

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Former President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban in 1994 that expired in 2004.


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