House Passes Ban On Assault Weapons

The House of Representatives voted narrowly on Friday to ban assault weapons, an effort to more forcefully respond to horrific mass shootings.

The legislation, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, passed by a vote of 217-213. It would make it a crime to sell or possess semiautomatic assault weapons or high capacity magazines. It would grandfather in existing semiautomatic weapons, as long as it is securely stored, and a licensed gun dealer must conduct a background check prior to the sale or transfer of such weapons.

The bill is a more significant response to mass recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, NY. President Joe Biden signed gun safety legislation earlier this month that expands background checks and gives states incentives to pass red flag laws, but it stopped short of any outright ban on certain types of weapons.

The bill’s passage may end up being symbolic, as Democrats likely do not have enough Republican support in the Senate to bring the legislation to a vote. Sixty votes are required to overcome the threat of a filibuster in the Senate.

The House bill revives a previous ban on assault weapons that passed in 1994. But it was allowed to expire 10 years later.

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