The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a sweeping gun control bill. The bill, introduced following recent shootings in Texas and New York, aims to raise the minimum age for the purchase of semi-automatic rifles. It also provides for the prohibition of the sale of ammunition stores with a capacity of more than 15 cartridges.
The bill passed by votes close to the party line of 223 to 204. Although it passed the House, the chances of it becoming law are slim as the Senate continues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, strengthening school safety and improving background checks.
But passing the bill in the House gives Democratic Party lawmakers a chance to send a message to voters. Mid-term elections are scheduled for November this year.
“We can’t save every life, but my God, shouldn’t we try? America, we hear you, and today in the House, we’re taking the action you demand,” Rep. Veronica Escobar said. D-Texas.
“Note who is with you and who is not.”
The bill’s passage came the same day when a House committee heard testimony from survivors of the Texas school shooting. The testimonies included that of Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old girl who smeared the blood of a deceased classmate to play dead in front of the shooter. The girl’s testimony left some lawmakers in tears.
Read | Texas shooting: Girl who smeared herself in blood to play dead describes horrific ordeal
The United States suffers from regular gun violence, including mass shootings. Unlike in the past, Congress swung into action after gunning down 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. This time, lawmakers from both parties have expressed the need to do something.
“It’s sickening, it’s sickening that our children have to live in this constant fear,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Pelosi said the House vote would “make history by making progress.” But it’s unclear where the House measure will go after Wednesday’s vote, given Republicans were adamant in their opposition.
“The answer is not to destroy the Second Amendment, but that’s exactly where Democrats want to go,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
(With agency contributions)
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Post expires at 12:38am on Sunday June 19th, 2022