House passes ban on weapons with the help of 2 Republicans and another word definition tweak

(Video Credit: CNBC Television)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the charge in the House of Representatives as it narrowly passed an assault weapons ban on Friday with five Democrats voting against it and two Republicans voting for it.

The bill was a squeaker with a vote tally of 217 to 213. It is almost certainly doomed in the Senate where it is not expected to get the necessary 60 votes to break the filibuster and pass.

The two Republicans who voted to strip Americans of their Second Amendment right were Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Chris Jacobs (R-N.Y.) The five Democrats who surprisingly stood up for constitutional rights were Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Jared Golden (D-Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and Ron Kind (D-Wis.)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Friday morning that the House would take up the legislation that afternoon, scheduling the last-minute vote just days after she said the chamber would put off consideration of the legislation until August.

President Biden claimed that the majority of Americans agree with the assault weapons ban and called on the Senate to pass it. Many Americans contest that assertion.

“The majority of the American people agree with this common sense action. The Senate should move quickly to get this bill to my desk, and I will not stop fighting until it does. There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can to ensure the safety of our families, our children, our homes, our communities, and our nation,” Biden declared. “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.”

In a statement, the White House Office of Management and Budget said: “40,000 Americans die from gunshot wounds every year and guns have become the top killer of children in the United States.”

“As President Biden has repeatedly called for, we must do more to stop this gun violence and save lives. We know an assault weapons and large-capacity magazine ban will save lives,” the OMB added.

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2022’s summary states that the bill would make it illegal to “knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).”

The legislation, which was led by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and co-sponsored by 207 Democrats, specifically calls for prohibiting the sale, manufacture, transfer, or import of various semi-automatic assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols, and semi-automatic shotguns, depending on their features.

The gun-grabbing move comes after a series of mass shootings across the nation including Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

Pelosi proclaimed from the House floor on Friday that the assault weapons ban is long overdue.

“Our nation has watched in unspeakable horror as assault weapons have been used in massacre after massacre in communities across the country. And disturbingly, so many of these mass shootings have targeted our precious children. In their schools, at the movies, at the malls, and throughout our communities. That is why I rise today in strong support in reinstating the assault weapons ban, a long overdue step to get deadly weapons off our streets,” she railed.

During debate on the House floor, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) asserted the “common sense reform” in the bill “will save the lives of law enforcement officers and innocent Americans across the country.”

“A moment of silence is not enough. I should have counted how many moments of silence we have had on this Floor this year and lamented the loss of children and the elderly and everybody in between because of a weapon that is designed to kill a lot of people quickly. No more moments of silence. Let’s act,” he stated.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, took issue with that and argued the measure was unconstitutional and posited that the bill “won’t make communities safer.”

“Democrats tried this ban before, It didn’t work. It won’t work now. And you know what it will do? It’ll make communities, I think, less safe,” he said. “This bill is wrong, it will make communities, I think, less safe, and it’s unconstitutional.”

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