One House Republican is supporting a Democrat-drafted assault weapons ban and is calling for others to join him.
On Monday, Rep. Peter King of New York was added to H.R. 1296, The Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, as a co-sponsor.
“They are weapons of mass slaughter,” King said Monday, according to the New York Daily News.
“I don’t see any need for them in everyday society,” he added.
The bill was drafted by Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island in February, with 190 Democrats on board. Eleven more Democrats signed on as co-sponsors after the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.
King indicated the shootings were part of his rationale for supporting the bill.
“I think the assault weapons ban is timely now, especially in view of the shooting in El Paso and Dayton,” King said.
King also wants to start a trend.
He said his action to support the bill “might give cover to some other Republicans, it might give some incentive to Democrats.”
Many gun-rights advocates were displeased with King’s position.
GOP Rep. Peter King joins House Dems in backing ‘assault weapons’ ban https://t.co/cXSt9xSRTs
— Michael Ruppert (@Michael16296215) August 20, 2019
Alleged Republican and IRA supporter Peter King joins House Dems in backing the unconstitutional and fascist gun grab fraudulently known as an ‘assault weapons’ ban https://t.co/xL6xmym5We
— Jack in the East (@talkradio200) August 20, 2019
King’s action, however, will not do much to impact the long-term prospects of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that even if the House were to pass the bill, it would not be considered in the Senate, according to The Hill.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump told reporters that a wide range of ideas was under consideration in relation to gun control, but noted that the issue is about people, not just weapons, according to a White House media pool report.
The president said Congress has “bipartisan committees working on background checks and various other things. And we’ll see. I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. I don’t want them to forget that, because it is. It’s a mental health problem.”
He then reprised a comment from a recent rally.
“It’s the people that pull the trigger. It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger. So we have a very, very big mental health problem, and Congress is working on various things, and I’ll be looking at it,” he said.
Trump then deflected a question about banning high-capacity magazines.
“But you have to remember, also, it’s a big mental — I was talking about mental institutions. They closed so many — like 92 percent — of the mental institutions around this country over the years, for budgetary reasons. These are people that have to be in institutions for help. I’m not talking about as a form of a prison. I’m saying for help.”
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