WASHINGTON (AP/WGHP) — On the last day before starting a 45-day recess, House Democrats rushed a vote to ban assault weapons.
The bill, titled the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, cleared the chamber in a 217-213 vote.
The bill was co-sponsored by 207 Democrats, including the following North Carolina representatives:
- Alma Adams (12th district)
- G.K. Butterfield (1st district)
- Kathy Manning (6th district)
- David Price (4th district)
- Deborah Ross (2nd district)
The eight Republican representatives from North Carolina did not support the bill:
- Greg Murphy (3rd district)
- Virginia Foxx (5th district)
- David Rouzer (7th dsitrict)
- Richard Hudson (8th district)
- Dan Bishop (9th district)
- Patrick McHenry (10th district)
- Madison Cawthorn (11th district)
- Ted Budd (13th district)
“We have a gun violence crisis in our country,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said.
McGovern says his bill is not meant to take guns away from Americans and would allow all current AR-15 owners to keep them.
“Rights come with responsibilities. And we have a responsibility to try and stop mass shootings,” McGovern said.
Democrats argue that military-style assault weapons are a common thread in most mass shootings and that’s a good reason to outlaw future purchases.
“That is what killed those children in Parkland, Highland, that’s what killed them in Uvalde, in Buffalo. That’s what killed these people in El Paso,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said.
However, Republicans like Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Penn.) argue the bill would be both unconstitutional and ineffective.
“This is the most severe restriction on the second amendment since the passage of the assault weapons ban of 1994,” Reschenthaler said.
And Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) says law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be asked to pay the price.
“For years, the democrats told us ‘we’re not coming for your guns.’ Oh yes they are,” Jordan said. “The second amendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. But they don’t care.”
Once banned in the U.S., semi-automatic weapons are now widely blamed as the weapon of choice among young men responsible for many of the most devastating mass shootings.
But Congress allowed the restrictions first put in place in 1994 on the manufacture and sales of the weapons to expire a decade later, unable to muster the political support to counter the powerful gun lobby and reinstate the weapons ban.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed the vote toward passage in the Democratic-run House, saying the earlier ban “saved lives.”
The House legislation is shunned by Republicans, who dismissed it as an election-year strategy by Democrats.
Almost all Republicans voted against the bill, which passed 217-213. It will likely stall in the 50-50 Senate.