Congressional Members Speak Out Following Vote on Assault Weapons Ban
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Our local congressional members are speaking out following a recent vote which would ban assault rifles. Many of our members are calling it a ‘gun grab’.
“On this vote the ‘yays’ are 217 and ‘nays’ are 213,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D- CA).
The House passed a bill called the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2022”. The bill prohibits the sale, manufacture, transfer or import of various semi-automatic assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols and semi-automatic shotguns and large capacity ammunition feeding device. Following the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York, there’s been a push for more gun control and Democrats have been eying this kind of legislation for a while.
At one point in time the U.S. had an assault weapons ban but that ban had a sunset provision, meaning it expired in 2004. Since then, Congress has not had the votes to continue that ban.
“When you look at what they’re trying to do with this legislation is they’re trying to take away a second amendment right,” said Rep. Fred Keller (R- PA).
Keller, Glenn Thompson (R- PA) and Mike Kelly (R- PA) all voted ‘no’ on this legislation.
Kelly released a statement following the vote:
"This bill unnecessarily restricts the rights of hunters and sportsmen rather than targeting violent criminals. It is yet another attempted gun grab by House Democrats that undermines law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights. I cannot -- and will not -- support that," Kelly said. "I believe we should be taking a more serious approach to address mental health and other related solutions that can prevent these horrific mass shootings from happening in the first place."
Keller adds that instead of this legislation Congress should be focused on other issues.
“They could be working on energy independence, lowering inflation, lowering the cost of gas which would give us more economic independence and they’re not doing that,” said Keller. “They're concerned about changing the narrative to something else, quite frankly, the Americans want to keep their rights or constitutional rights.”
Congress last month passed one of the most significant pieces of gun legislation we’ve seen in decades. It included a waiting period for people younger than 21 to get a gun, closing loopholes for people convicted of domestic violence and mental health funding. Even though this assault weapons ban passed the House it’s unlikely it will pass the Senate.