House passes assault weapons ban, but Senate prospects are uncertain

It is unlikely to become law as the legislation does not appear to have enough support to overcome the Senate's 60-vote filibuster threshold

Updated: July 30, 2022 - 3:03pm

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The House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill to ban so-called assault weapons following a string of high-profile mass shootings.

The bill passed 217-213, according to USA Today. Though the bill passed mostly along party lines, five Democrats opposed the measure, including Reps. Henry Cuellar, Texas; Vicente Gonzalez, Texas; Jared Golden, Maine; Kurt Schrader, Ore.; and Ron Kind, Wisc., The Hill reported. Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and New York Rep. Chris Jacobs were the only crossover votes in favor.

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., sponsored the bill, which would ban the sale, transfer, and manufacture of certain semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and a host of other external features. It is unlikely to become law as the legislation does not appear to have enough support to overcome the Senate's 60-vote filibuster threshold. 

Jacobs announced in late May that he would support a ban on assault weapons following a mass shooting in Buffalo, but backlash from Republicans in his constituency was so severe that he promptly announced he would not seek reelection. He ultimately voted on Friday to pass the ban.

Some Republicans did reach across the aisle in late June, however, to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which tightened background checks for younger gun buyers, closed loopholes, and allocated funds for mass shooting prevention programs.