Congressional Members Split on Proposed "Assault Weapons" Ban
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Officials said the Nashville school shooter was armed with three firearms during the shooting. President Biden is calling on congress to ban “assault weapons” following the mass shooting. So how are congressional members reacting? And would an assault rifle ban have an impact? After the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Congress passed bipartisan gun legislation but it’s unlikely congress will move forward with Biden's proposal because they don’t have enough bipartisan support needed to pass it.
The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit public policy research organization, looked at different studies on the impacts of assault rifle bans. For reference, these studies define mass shootings as four or more killed, not including the shooter.
In one study that focused on school shootings, the study showed that “the presence of a state or federal assault rifle ban between 1990 and 2014 was significantly associated with a 54 percent reduction in the number of school shooting victims. However, it is unclear the extent to which this estimate was identified from the change in the federal law versus changes in state policy.”
Starting in the mid 90s, there was an assault rifle ban. That ban expired after ten years. Senators on both sides of the aisle were asked about an assault rifle ban, here’s how some responded:
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the community,” said Sen. John Thune (R- SD). “We are grateful for the quick rapid response from law enforcement and I think with respect to any discussion of legislation, it’s premature. There’s an ongoing investigation and I think we need to wait for the facts to come out.”
“Look as you know I care passionately about this, I’m the author of the bill that passed in 1994 and we’re working hard to get enough votes to pass it,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- NY).
Senators John Fetterman (D-PA) and Bob Casey (D- PA) support an assault rifle ban. We asked Rep. Mike Kelly about it, but he said this is a mental health issue.