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PoliticsUnited States of America

US House passes gun control bill after mass shootings

June 9, 2022

The vote by lawmakers in the Democratic-majority House follows mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. The measure is unlikely to pass in the Senate.

Tops market in Buffalo, New York after a mass shooting last month
The US is shaken following several recent mass shootings across the countryImage: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The US House of Representatives has voted to raise the nationwide age limit for  buying some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21.

The measure would also ban the sale of ammunition magazines which can carry more than 15 rounds. 

The move follows deadly mass shootings at a school in Uvalde, Texas, and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. A shooter also recently killed four people at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The legislation passed the Democratic-majority House by a vote of 223-204. Five Republicans voted for the measures, with two Democrats voting against.

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said the vote would "make history by making progress." Meanwhile, Republican Representative Jim Jordan claimed Democrats are pushing unconstitutional measures.

Gun control likely doomed in closely divided Senate

The package is unlikely to be adopted in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.

The Senate has mostly focused on school security and mental health legislation instead of gun control measures. Legislation requires at least 60 votes to pass the upper chamber.

Earlier this week, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged his party colleagues to "keep talking" about bipartisan gun legislation with Senate Republicans.

Biden calls for stricter gun laws

The recent shootings have put pressure on Congress to act, with an 11-year-old survivor of the Uvalde massacre telling lawmakers about her traumatic experience on Wednesday.

US President Joe Biden has advocated a ban on assault weapons, among other measures, to curb gun violence. On Tuesday, actor Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, made an impassioned plea for gun control and other policies during a visit to the White House.

wd/nm (AP, Reuters)

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