Democrats Rally Hard And Pass Assault Weapons Ban 217-213


A ban on assault-style weapons passed the House this week as Democratic leaders and non-governmental groups — alongside many others — continue pushing for action to address the ongoing wave of gun violence afflicting the United States.

The vote was, as could be expected, mostly along party lines. The final total saw 217 in favor of the measure and 213 against, with five Democrats voting against the bill and two Republicans voting for it. Some assault weapons — with further specifications, of course, in the legislation itself — would apparently be permitted to remain in the presumably newly regulated custody of those possessing them if the initiative was made law, but creating or selling new semiautomatic assault weapons would be outlawed, as ABC outlined it. Importing or transferring the targeted weapons would also be banned by the bill the House passed. Besides assault weapons, the legislation also restricts high-capacity ammunition magazines. The initiative directly targets weapons repeatedly used in mass shootings.

“These weapons of war are the favored firearms of mass shooters for a reason: They’re designed to injure and kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said. “They have no place on our streets. Today, House Democrats took necessary action to break the continual cycle of trauma, violence, and bloodshed that’s plagued our country for far too long. The Assault Weapons Ban Act will save countless lives and make our communities safer for families and children who want to live in peace – not in constant fear that they or their loved ones may be next. We have the power to end the scourge of gun violence once and for all, it merely demands the courage to place people over politics. House Democrats have proven we have the strength to do what’s right. Now, it’s time for the Senate to show the same determination – our communities are counting on us.”

While Senate Dems may support the initiative in significant numbers, that chamber’s filibuster rules seem destined to stop the effort from moving forward in the Senate for now. The rules would require 10 GOP’ers in the Senate to join all Dems in favor of advancing the initiative, and there’s no sign of such a coalition forming. The horrors of recent mass shootings in locales such as Texas and Illinois haven’t shifted the GOP’s commitment to standing by dangerous firearms, although it’s worth noting it’s the support of those two House Republicans that meant the bill advanced. One, Rep. Chris Jacobs (N.Y.), represents areas including Buffalo, where one of the recent mass shootings that shook the country took place. Jacobs said House GOP leadership pressed the possibility of him voting against the proposed weapons ban, but the New York Congressman refused to change his mind. The five Dems who went against the bill were Reps. Henry Cuellar (Texas), Jared Golden (Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Ron Kind (Wisc.), and Kurt Schrader (Ore.).

Separately, the House also passed a sweeping bill this week that would support U.S. competitiveness in the tech industry through means including subsidies for the domestic production of semiconductor chips, which are pieces of tech used in automobiles, military and medical equipment, and lots more. House Republican leaders pushed their members to vote against that bill, but two dozen backed it anyway. President Joe Biden touted the measure as essentially a jobs bill, alongside its other benefits, like support for U.S. national security because of making the country less reliant on foreign supplies of chips.