House passes new assault weapons ban

The House of Representatives on Friday voted 217-213, largely along party lines, to pass the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022.

Five Democrats — Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Jared Golden (D-Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) — voted against the bill, while two Republicans — Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Chris Jacobs (R-N.Y.) — voted in favor of it. The Hill notes that if “the two Republicans had voted with their party,” they might have “tied the vote 215-215, preventing Democrats from getting to the 216-vote threshold they needed to pass the bill.”

The legislation would make it illegal to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess semiautomatic assault weapons or “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.” Some firearms will be grandfathered in, but person-to-person sales of those weapons will be restricted. Former President Bill Clinton signed a similar ban in 1994, but it expired 10 years later and has not been renewed.

President Biden urged the Senate to “move quickly to get this bill to my desk,” but the ban is unlikely to receive the 60 Senate votes it would need to overcome the filibuster.