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Monday, March 27, 2023

Democrats push for first semi-automatic gun ban in 20 years

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – House Democrats on Wednesday began moving forward with legislation that would ban some semi-automatic weapons as they considered their most far-reaching response to mass shootings this summer.

Democrats expect the 100-page bill to pass through the Judiciary Committee before the August break. But it’s not sure, with moderates in the party, especially those coming from politically divided swing districts, wary of a vote on widespread gun control ahead of November’s midterm elections – especially when opposition to the bill is expected to become law. There is little chance in the Senate.

The renewed push for a ban on assault-type weapons comes nearly two decades after Congress allowed similar restrictions to expire. The original ban was passed in 1994 under the then Sen. Joe Biden, and some semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines, although it exempted an estimated 1.5 million and 25 million of those weapons that were already owned by Americans.

watch: Gun violence in America shows no signs of reduction after new mass shootings

For nearly three decades, mass shootings have become common in the United States, with semi-automatic weapons often used in attacks on schools, workplaces, public places, shops, churches, and other places where people gather. .

“The sole purpose of an assault weapon is to kill people efficiently,” Nadler, D-NY. said on Wednesday that the committee took measures. “It’s time to protect our communities and ban them once again.”

Democrats on the committee played haunting audio of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people and injured 17 others. Dozens of rapid fire shots and distressed screams of people trying to escape could be heard in just 1 minute 18 seconds.

“There are more guns than people in this country, more mass shootings than days in the year. This is a uniquely American problem, and weapons of attack only exacerbate the epidemic,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. David Sicilin, DR.I., as the audio concludes.

Wednesday’s hearing also comes in the wake of the July 4 mass shootings at a parade in Highland, Illinois, and back-to-back mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.

Massacre in South Texas killed 19 schoolchildren, the bodies of some of whom were unknown to their parents. Facing pressure to act, Congress last month passed the most significant gun violence measure in decades. This included background checks for gun buyers ages 18 to 21, as well as allocating state funding to enforce local “red flag” laws.

But the bill fell far short of the steps Biden and Democrats say are needed to curb the country’s epidemic of gun violence. Many say that until more tighter controls on guns are put in place, the killings will not stop.

“We are paying for these weapons of war on our streets with the blood of our kids sitting in our schools,” said Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., whose 17-year-old son was shot dead at a gas station Said during the hearing in 2012.

“We are the proper people and this is a reasonable effort,” said Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas. “I look forward to taking the debate forward, saying enough is enough. We love our kids. I beg for relief.”

Read more: Shooting at Indiana Mall kills 4, including gunman, say police

Republicans on the committee objected to the proposal, calling it an attack on Second Amendment rights.

“Democrats know this law will not reduce violent crime or reduce the likelihood of mass shootings, but they are obsessed with attacking the Second Amendment liberties of law-abiding Americans,” said Representative Jim Jordan, of the committee. Top Republicans said. “For more than 30 years, Democrats have been campaigning to trick people into believing that ‘assault weapons’ are a specific class of firearms that no one needs.”

Sicilian pushed back, saying the Second Amendment is not without protection limits. He said the Democratic proposal focused on assault-style rifles, which are the guns most law-abiding Americans don’t buy and own.

“Dangerous military weapons that were made to fight on the battlefield and kill enemies are not the ones in the neighborhoods and schools and theaters where we live,” he said.

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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