Nancy Pelosi Announces Plan for 'Assault Weapons' Ban
House Democrats will consider legislation prohibiting “assault weapons,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday at a San Francisco anti-gun violence event.
The Democratic-majority lower chamber of Congress will also work on laws that would better inform people when an active shooter situation breaks out, Pelosi said, according to National Review.
“And then, as we get through those, we will be having a hearing and marking up the assault weapon ban,” Pelosi said. “So we just are trying to hit it every possible way.”
Pelosi and other top Democrats in the House plan to hold a vote in the coming week on “red flag” legislation intended to thwart potentially violent people from acquiring weapons.
The House Judiciary Committee will gather for an emergency session to mark up eight more bills intended to fight gun violence on Thursday.
The committee will consider, among other proposals, bans on high-capacity magazines and age limits on the purchase of certain semi-automatic firearms, The Hill reported.
Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island recently proposed regulations that would ban selling, transferring, importing and manufacturing 205 models of semi-automatic rifles.
Cicilline’s proposal, however, stops short of prohibiting their use by people who already own such firearms, according to The Hill.
The feasibility of an “assault weapon” ban securing enough votes in the House to see the light of day remains uncertain.
Centrist Democrats are expected to oppose such prohibitions, while a few Republicans — notably Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Chris Jacobs of New York — are open to “assault rifle” bans, according to The Hill.
A bill banning semi-automatic weapons is less likely to pass in the Senate, which is split 50-50. Democrats would need 60 votes to break a filibuster.
“Of course we want the Senate to pass the background check legislation, which will save more lives than any of the initiatives we have,” Pelosi said Wednesday.
Should the bill pass the Senate, it would still run into legal hurdles.
In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court deemed any “categorical ban” on weapons “commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes today” unconstitutional.
Recent shootings in several parts of the country, most notably the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, have spurred bipartisan interest in working toward legislation to reduce gun violence.
Republicans and Democrats have been holding gun control talks, according to CNN.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, one of the Republicans participating in the talks, said, “We are making rapid progress toward a common-sense package that could garner support from both Republicans and Democrats.”
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