House Democrats want a total ban on 'assault weapons'

The bill, if passed, would prohibit the sale, transfer, import, and manufacture of hundreds of semi-automatic rifles, including AR-15-style weapons that combine pistol grips with detachable magazines.

House Democrats want a total ban on 'assault weapons'
AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib
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House Democrats have announced their plans to go ahead and enact a ban on so-called assault weapons, which they plan on putting to a vote.

On Friday morning, Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler announced that the House Judiciary Committee intends to stage a markup of a bill banning most currently legal semi-automatic rifles on Wednesday, the Hill reported.

The Democrat's push to enact a massive firearms ban comes slightly over a month after the Trudeau government in Canada introduced a law to freeze handgun sales. Canada already has plans to ban 1,500 types of rifles and offer a mandatory buyback program that is set to begin at the end of the year.

Democrats have highlighted the move to ban semi-automatic rifles as a response to the series of recent high-profile mass shootings in the United States, including the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and the grocery store shooting in Buffalo, New York. More recently, a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, was the target of a mass shooter who murdered seven people and left dozens injured.

“It is beyond frightening and disturbing that a weapon that was designed as a tool of war has found its way into the hands of 18-year-olds and onto our streets,” said Nadler in a statement. “Any weapon that allows for the quick and efficient slaughter of children in our schools has no place in our communities.”

The bill, if passed, would prohibit the sale, transfer, import, and manufacture of hundreds of semi-automatic rifles, including AR-15-style weapons that combine pistol grips with detachable magazines.

“How many more kids need to die in their schools before we finally crack down on these dangerous firearms which were designed for war?” said Democrat Rep. David Cicilline, who sponsored the bill. The bill has 211 Democrat co-sponsors, with only a few moderates refusing to get onboard.

The ban would only apply to new firearms and will not be retroactive for existing owners of such guns.

Opponents of the ban, including most Republicans, argue that such a ban would be unconstitutional and in direct violation of the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promoted the ban on Thursday, suggesting that Democrats have the numbers they need to pass it.

“There is great support in our caucus for an assault weapon ban,” she said. “It’s about our children. More children die from gun violence in each year than cancer, car accidents or anything.”

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  • By Adam Soos

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