The House of Representatives will vote to ban assault weapons on Friday

The House of Representatives will vote Friday on an assault weapons ban, a declaration of intent by Democrats to take more aggressive action to prevent gun violence in the wake of recent mass shootings.

That legislationproposed by Rep. David Cicilline, DR.I., would criminalize the knowing sale, manufacture, transfer, possession or importation of many types of large capacity semi-automatic weapons and ammunition feeders.


“We are in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence — an epidemic of carnage and untold casualties that has devastated far too many families,” Cicilline said in a recent statement. “And we know something that will reduce that bloodshed because we saw how the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban worked.”

However, it is very unlikely that the bill will pass the Senate. It’s not clear that it has the support of all 50 Democrats, and even if it did win a majority of the vote, it would require the support of at least 10 Republicans to defeat a guaranteed filibuster.

A mass shooting in Buffalo, New York has killed 10 people
Curtis Hawkins covers his face with his hands near a memorial to the victims of a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market on May 19, 2022 in Buffalo, NY Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

Senate Republicans were not open to additional gun action after they passed bipartisan legislation last month aimed at improving background checks to include juvenile records and giving states grants for passing “red flag” laws grant.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats earlier this month that the House of Representatives will push the ban on assault weapons to “respect the overwhelming desire of the caucus.” It passed the Judiciary Committee last week by a vote of 25 to 18, with Republicans voting against.

The ban would not apply to some types of firearms, including antiques, rifles and shotguns specifically identified by make and model, and guns that are manually operated in various ways.

In a letter to a “dear colleague” on Friday, Pelosi called the ban “a critical step in our ongoing fight against the deadly epidemic of gun violence in our country.”

The cause of stricter gun laws has gained prominence in Congress and US opinion polls following the recent spate of mass shootings, including in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. The push for gun restrictions also represents Democrats’ desire to turn the tables on the GOP’s crime issue.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., said that “Assault weapons — especially when combined with high-capacity magazines — are the weapon of choice for mass shootings because they are designed to kill with ruthless efficiency. “

Image: Robb Primary School Uvalde
People look at a memorial at Robb Elementary School after a mass shooting May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.Liz Moskowitz for NBC News

The House of Representatives had planned to vote on banning assault weapons earlier this week, along with legislation to provide funding for local police departments. But members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other progressives opposed the latter measures, demanding more accountability measures in exchange for funding. They reached an agreement to move forward with the assault weapons ban on Friday only.

Announcing the vote in her letter, Pelosi said the House would continue to work on police funding legislation for future consideration.

A progressive advisor called the deal “huge for progressives.”

Rep. Joyce Beatty, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters she was proud of the CBC’s leadership in finalizing Friday’s deal and grateful to Pelosi for listening to her concerns. She described the vote on assault weapons as a “first step” in tackling violence and policing.

“We have people from Uvalde and Parkland who are here today with these children asking us to make sure we issue an attack ban. … Well, are we done? No, we’re not done yet. We’re going to come back and we’re going to look at the guard rails that we’re putting up,” she said, referring to the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Friday’s vote comes days after a controversial House Oversight Committee hearing at which Democrats urged gunmakers to take responsibility for their role in the gun violence epidemic and take a look at what they call “disruptive sales tactics” designate to get young men to buy assault guns.

Scott Wong, Ali Vitali and Kyle Stewart contributed. The House of Representatives will vote to ban assault weapons on Friday

Fry Electronics Team

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