For the first time in nearly two decades, a bill proposing a ban on assault weapons has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On Friday (July 29), the proposed bill titled Assault Weapons Ban of 2022 was met with a vote of 217 — 213. The legislation was largely supported by House Democrats and just two Republicans. In recent years, semi-automatic weapons have come under fire as mass shootings continue to plague communities across the country. This year, at least 356 mass shootings have taken place, the Gun Violence Archive reports.
“A moment of silence is not enough,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ahead of the vote, according to CNN. “I should have counted how many moments of silence we have had on this floor this year and lamented the loss of children and the elderly and everybody in between because of a weapon that is designed to kill a lot of people quickly. No more moments of silence,” he added.
President Joe Biden commended efforts to get the bill past its first hurdle. “When guns are the number one killer of children in America, when more children die from guns than active-duty police and active-duty military combined, we have to act,” he said in a statement. “Today, House Democrats acted by unifying to pass an assault weapons ban to keep weapons of war off our streets, save lives in this country, and reduce crime in our communities,” he added.
The federal ban on semi-automatic weapons will be reinstated if the bill passes the Senate. Under George W. Bush’s presidency, the 10-year ban expired. The last time a ban on semi-automatic guns passed in both the House and Senate was in 1994 under former President Bill Clinton.
The legislation lays out bans on the sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Weapons that would fall under the ban include rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic pistols with military-type features. The deadliest shooting this year occurred in Uvalde, Texas (May 24) just 10 days after a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York (May 14). As previously reported by REVOLT, a total of 19 children and two teachers were slain in the Texas massacre, and a total of 10 people died in the Buffalo shooting.