Two House Republicans voted Friday for extremist legislation that would ban the sale of many semiautomatic firearms.
GOP Reps. Chris Jacobs of New York and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania voted for the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2022.”
The bill passed the House on a thin 217-213 vote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi celebrated as the body rammed through the gun control measure.
Assault Weapons Ban passes in the House 217-213 pic.twitter.com/uqgPXSuIbT
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 29, 2022
The bill would ban the new sale of firearms such as AR-15-style rifles, which are among the most commonly owned guns in America.
More than 16 million modern sporting rifles were in civilian circulation as of 2018, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where it will need 10 Republican votes to overcome the filibuster.
Americans who already own the semiautomatic rifles would be able to keep their guns as “grandfathered” firearms, but you wouldn’t be able to buy a new AR-15 at the local gun store.
The bill identifies a lengthy list of semiautomatic firearms for criminalization.
The term “assault weapon” has a politically charged history. Military firearms capable of fully automatic fire have traditionally been defined as “assault rifles,” but semiautomatic weapons such as the AR-15 don’t fit that definition.
Private transfers of “grandfathered” firearms would be subjected to the existing federal background check process.
Nearly all of the Republican senators most inclined to pass new gun control laws rejected a so-called “assault weapons” ban in June.
Opposition to the gun control grab was more bipartisan than its support, with several Democrats proving willing to back gun rights than two of their Republican peers.
Five Democrats voted against the assault weapons ban, according to Business Insider.
Those who voted against banning the AR-15 included Democrats such as Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas moderate known for pushing back against extremism from Democratic leaders.
Jacobs had already been pressured into ending his campaign for re-election after publicly backing an “assault weapons” ban in June.
Fitzpatrick, who represents swing district in southeastern Pennsylvania, has said his vote was spurred by recent mass shootings, such as the May 24 massacre in Uvalde, Texas, according to WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.
“We shouldn’t have to wait for tragedies to happen to respond,” he said, according to the station.
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