February 25, 2024

US House passes assault weapon ban; Senate will probably kill it

WASHINGTON: Following a string of tragic mass shootings, the US House of Representatives on Friday advanced a bill that would outlaw assault weapons for the first time in decades.The Democratic-majority House passed the bill 217 to 213; it will now go before the Senate, where it is almost certainly bound to fail.

Despite the terrible epidemic of mass shootings, gun reform in the US remains incredibly controversial, with only two Republicans joining Democrats in support of the assault weapons ban in the House.Democrats only hold 50 seats in the 100-member Senate, so 10 votes from Republicans are required to bring a bill to the floor for discussion.

Congress passed a ban on assault rifles and some high-capacity magazines in 1994 for a period of ten years, but politicians allowed it to expire in 2004, and sales of the weapons have since skyrocketed.The most recent legislation was hailed as “a significant step in our continued fight against the tragic pandemic of gun violence in our nation.”

Certain semi-automatic weapons, such as those used in recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Highland Park, Illinois, would be prohibited from sale, import, manufacture, and transfer.

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