(EFE).- The Democrat-controlled lower house of the United States on Friday passed a bill to ban assault-style weapons in the country.

However, the proposal is likely to stall in the Senate, where the Democrats have a narrow majority.

The House approved the bill, presented by Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, with 217 votes in favor and 213 before the August recess.

Almost the entire Democratic caucus apart from five lawmakers voted for the measure, which was backed by only two Republicans.

Two Republicans, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., and Chris Jacobs, R-N.Y., voted yes. Five Democrats, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oreg., and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisc. voted no.

The proposal seeks a ban on the sale, manufacture, transfer or import of various semiautomatic assault weapons, semiautomatic pistols and semiautomatic shotguns and comes after recent shootings in the country, in which assault rifles were used.

“When guns are the number one killer of children in America, when more children die from guns than active-duty police and active-duty military combined, we have to act,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement after the vote.

“There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can to ensure the safety of our families, our children, our homes, our communities, and our nation,” he added, vowing to “not stop fighting” to get the bill to advance.

The vote in Congress came during the final phase of the trial of the confessed perpetrator of a shooting that claimed 17 lives at a high school in Parkland, Florida in 2018, using an assault-style weapon.

The US passed a federal ban on assault weapons in the country in 1994, but it expired in 2004 without Congress renewing it.

In June, the US House of Representatives approved a historic deal to tighten gun control across the board.

This initiative includes measures to tighten background checks on those under 21 years of age and extends the so-called “red flag laws” to the entire country, which allow the activation of a legal procedure to confiscate firearms from those believed to pose a danger to others or to themselves. EFE

© 2022 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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