House Passes Ban On Assault Weapons, Some Shotguns, Handguns And Hunting Rifles
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives has just passed bill H.R. 1808 to ban assault weapons, along with some shotguns, handguns, and hunting rifles, with a vote of 217-213. All Democrats except two voted to support the bill, and all Republicans except two voted not to support it.
A 10-year ban on assault rifles was passed on August 25th, 1994, and had been signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton on September 13th, 1994. The bill had expired, however, on September 13th, 2004.
Regarding mass shootings, although President Joe Biden claims that the 10-year assault weapons ban that was passed in 1994 "brought down these mass killings" FactCheck.org stated on February 1st, 2013 that although "Gun crimes involving assault weapons declined, the decline was "offset throughout at least the late 1990s by steady or rising use of other guns equipped with [large-capacity magazines]."
The Report by FactCheck.org also added that it was "premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun crime". Another Report by FactCheck.org that was put out in 2013 also said that the effects of the ban were "still unfolding" when the ban had expired in 2004 and that it was "premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence."
Andrew Morral, a RAND senior behavioral scientist said, "We don’t think there are great studies available yet to state the effectiveness of assault weapons bans," and added, "That’s not to say they aren’t effective. The research we reviewed doesn’t provide compelling evidence one way or the other."
The bill H.R. 1808 that passed the House is said to be unlikely to pass the Senate. The bill says that it is to "Regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1808 not only bans assault rifles but also hunting rifles, certain shotguns, and handguns. The bill defines a 'semiautomatic pistol' as "any repeating pistol that utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge."
It defines a 'semiautomatic shotgun’ as "any repeating shotgun that utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round; and "requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.’’
It defines a 'semiautomatic assault weapon' as "A semiautomatic rifle that has a magazine that is not a fixed magazine, and does have any one of the following: A pistol grip, a forward grip, a folding telescoping or detachable stock, or is otherwise fold-able or adjustable in a manner that reduces its length, size or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the conceal-ability of the weapon.
Included in the ban are also weapons with a grenade launcher, a barrel shroud, and weapons with a threaded barrel. Semiautomatic rifles with a "fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition" are also banned.
The bill also states "Any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed, or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm but not convert the semiautomatic firearm into a machine gun."
"Semiautomatic pistols that have a magazine that is not a fixed magazine, and does have any one of the following: A threaded barrel, a second pistol grip, a barrel shroud, the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip, a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm, a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when unloaded, a stabilizing brace or similar component. "
In addition: "A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds".
Semiautomatic shotguns that: have "the capacity to utilize a magazine that is not a fixed magazine, and does have one of the following: A folding telescoping or detachable stock, a pistol grip or bird's head grip, a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds, the ability to accept a detachable magazine, a forward grip".
Any shotgun with a grenade launcher or a revolving cylinder is also included in the ban, as well as all belt-fed semiautomatic firearms.
A statement by U.S. President Joe Biden on the assault weapons ban said, "When I signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – the first significant piece of gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years – I said that there was still work to be done to keep our communities safe and keep dangerous firearms out of dangerous hands. When guns are the number one killer of children in America, when more children die from guns than active-duty police and active-duty military combined, we have to act. 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."
"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."
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