WASHINGTON, DC – On June 8th, the House passed a bill loaded with various gun reforms and restrictions, to include restrictions on magazines above a certain capacity as well as increasing the age in which someone can legally purchase a semi-automatic rifle.
The bill dubbed the “Protecting Our Kids Act” passed largely along party lines in a 223-204 vote, with Democrats overwhelmingly in favor of tightening gun restrictions in the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.
However, five Republicans did defy the party and voted in favor of the bill, with those Republicans being Reps. Anthony Gonzalez, Fred Upton, Brian Fitzpatrick, Adam Kinzinger, and Chris Jacobs. Surprisingly, two Democrats voted against the bill, those being Reps. Jared Golden and Kurt Schrader.
As Congress were in the process of debating the gun legislation brought forth, the families of those impacted by the mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo spoke before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, with the families urging Congress to ban the likes of “assault weapons” and passing other various restrictions on firearms.
According to the legislation, the following gun reforms will come into effect if the Senate passes the version of the bill passed in the House:
- A general prohibition against selling/transferring a “semiautomatic centerfire rifle or semiautomatic centerfire shotgun that has…the capacity to accept an ammunition feeding device…exceeding 5 rounds” to anyone under the age of 21
- Requirements that all firearms be traceable (i.e., serial numbers added by FFLs), in reference to what the administration calls “ghost guns”
- Laws requiring that firearms be secured via a “gun storage or safety device” if a minor and/or prohibited possessor resides in the same household
- Additional restrictions on so-called “bump stocks”
- Bans the sale and possession of purported “large capacity ammunition feeding device,” meaning any magazine capable of hosting 15 or more rounds
While the bill was able to make it through the House, even CNN acknowledged that this legislation “is not expected to pass the Senate,” namely due to Senate Republicans generally not being on board with such sweeping restrictions on the Second Amendment. In order for the bill to come to fruition, Democrats would have to persuade 10 Republicans in the Senate to venture down their side of the aisle, a largely unlikely scenario.
On June 9th, the House also managed to pass a bill to nationalize “red flag laws,” again mostly along party lines in a 224-202 vote. The legislation, coined as the “Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order,” would allow the confiscation of firearms following a petition to a district court from either family members or law enforcement officers.
The same five Republican Reps., Gonzalez, Upton, Fitzpatrick, Kinzinger, and Jacobs, deviated from the Republican party and voted in favor of the measure. One Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden, voted against the nationalization of red flag laws.