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The bill, entitled the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2022,” was passed by a vote of 217-213 and is intended “to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.” The bill would reinstate the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004 and prohibit the sale or manufacture of certain rifles (including AR-15s), shotguns, and pistols based on their features.
Several Democrats, including Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Jared Golden (D-ME), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) voted against the bill, while Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) voted in favor.
“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,” Biden said in a statement. “The majority of the American people agree with this common sense action.”
The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate since it would require the support of 10 Republican senators to get past the filibuster.
Many House Republicans called the bill an attempt to crack down on the Second Amendment.
“This is the first time in American history, I believe, that a chamber of the Congress will pass a bill openly defying the Supreme Court’s explicit declaration of the rights of the American people,” said Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) on the House floor, pointing to Supreme Court rulings such as D.C. v. Heller, which held that American citizens had the right to own firearms under the Constitution.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that, if signed into law, the legislation would ban millions of guns that Americans already own, while Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) pointed to the border crisis as one reason why Americans need to stay armed.
“We shouldn’t be talking about disarming the American people, when it is my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that are leaving the American people exposed to dangerous cartels and dangerous narcotics flying to our communities, and dangerous criminal gang members, and criminals that are coming in and harming the American people, including people that are affiliated with terrorist countries and organizations,” the Texas Republican said.
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) called the legislation a “gun grab.”
Last month, Biden signed the most expansive gun control legislation in decades following support from Republicans in the House and the Senate.