On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee moved a bill forward that would ban assault weapons, but it’s unclear if the legislation has enough support to pass a floor vote.
After an hours-long markup, the committee approved, in a 25-18 vote, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021. The bill, sponsored by Democrat Rep. David Cicilline
Report: Average Americans’ Retirement Accounts Are Down 25% This Year Alone. How to protect yourself?
No Republicans present voted for the bill.
The Democratic chairman of the committee, Jerry Nadler, announced last week that the committee would proceed with the legislation.
The measure’s advance comes after numerous mass shootings around the nation. Many of those shootings were carried out by young men reportedly wielding assault-style rifles.
According to the bill’s summary, it would be a crime to “import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device,” according to the bill’s summary. Few exceptions would be permitted.
The bill says that it would not include any “firearm that is (1) manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action; (2) permanently inoperable; (3) an antique; or (4) a rifle or shotgun specifically identified by make and model.”
While the measure passed through committee on Wednesday, it is unclear if and when it will be brought to the House floor for a vote.
During Wednesday’s committee markup, Nadler said, “As we have learned all too well in recent years, assault weapons — especially when combined with high-capacity magazines — are the weapon of choice for mass shootings.”
“These military-style weapons are designed to kill the most people in the shortest amount of time. Quite simply, there is no place for them on our streets.”
However, a few committee members expressed their concern regarding the proposed measure.
“Democrats know this legislation will not reduce violent crime or reduce the likelihood of mass shootings, but they are obsessed with attacking law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment liberties,” Ohio Republican Jim Jordan told Fox News.
Two Democrats, Jared Golden of Maine and Henry Cuellar of Texas, said they would not support the bill.
Biden has been calling for an assault weapons ban.
“Assault weapons need to be banned,” Biden said. “They were banned… then under pressure from the NRA and the gun manufacturers and others, that ban was lifted in 2004.”
Last month, Congress passed, and Biden signed a gun safety bill into law.