Lawmakers in the Judiciary House plan to consider legislation banning certain semi-automatic firearms next week, even though Democrats acknowledge it has no chance of becoming law.
The new Assault Weapons Ban Bill, introduced by Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, does not call for the confiscation of any firearms. But the legislation would prohibit the manufacture or sale of new weapons.
The proposal would make it illegal for a person to import, sell, manufacture or transfer certain semi-automatic rifles, including those that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one of the following military characteristics: pistol grip ; handle forward; folding, telescopic or detachable stock; grenade launchers; barrel fairing; or threaded barrel.
Mr. Cicilline’s bill, which has 211 co-sponsors, none of whom are Republicans. It is expected to be annotated to the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
But Senator Jon Cornyn, a Republican from Texas who led the GOP side of negotiations on a major gun control measure signed into law by President Biden last month, indicated that Republicans no longer intend to pass new gun control legislation in the 1950s-50s Senate.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler told The Washington Times that he is confident that while the bill will likely stall in the House, it will serve as a reminder to voters this election cycle that Democrats want to pass the ban and get it to Mr. Biden’s office.
SEE ALSO: DEA busts fentanyl pill sellers in $20 million bust in suburban Los Angeles
“It’s something that should pass,” he said. Nadler said voters need to elect more Democrats, including in the Senate, to approve such a ban.
Nadler said polls show gun control, including a ban on assault weapons, is “extremely popular” and Democrats representing rotating districts shouldn’t worry about backing a such legislation.
Support for an assault weapons ban among Americans had fallen to 55% since August 2019, according to a Gallup poll released last month. not as supportive of gun control measures during 2020.
The Associated Press conducted a poll of support for the measure in May, the same weekend as the deadly mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and 51% favored a nationwide ban.
“The American people stand by Congress taking action to improve their public safety and address the carnage we see in terms of mass shooting after mass shooting across the country,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York. “No one is safe until everyone is safe, so I think banning assault weapons is an appropriate next step.”
But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, scoffed at the proposal, saying Democrats were still “playing politics”.
“They just want to move something,” he said. “You have watched it over and over again in the House. That’s all they’re going to do is play politics.
The bill is similar to what was passed almost 30 years ago. House Democratic and Senate majorities enacted an assault weapons ban in 1994, signed by President Bill Clinton, but the measure had a 10-year sunset clause. Republicans, who went on to hold a majority in both houses in 2004, let the legislation expire on its due date.
The move by House Democrats to ban assault weapons comes just after Mr. Biden signed key gun control legislation last month that included the most significant new restrictions on gun possession. firearms for decades.
That bill established background checks to include juvenile criminal records, increased mental health spending, and prompted states to pass “red flag” laws that allowed authorities to confiscate firearms from people deemed dangerous.
Mr Biden signed the new gun bill into law days after a man fired during a July 4 parade in a Chicago suburb, killing seven people and injuring at least 46 others.
Democrats have lamented that the legislation doesn’t do enough in the wake of several mass shootings, including the racially motivated attack in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 black people, and a shooter at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children. and two teachers.