The passage of the 1808 Act, whose purpose was to “regulate offensive arms to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be unlimited,” was celebrated with applause and roars in the House of Representatives.
Titled “2022 Assault Weapons Ban,” the motion received 217 votes in favor and 213 against. The law includes exceptions for certain types of semi-automatic weapons, such as antique parts, certain types of firearms and other weapons.
However, the proposal, led by Congressman David Cicilline, is not expected to pass the Senate and will not take effect. The majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives went to the vote because they felt it was important to respond to the mass shootings that have rocked the country in recent months.
“We are in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence — an epidemic of unspeakable carnage and loss that has broken so many families,” Cecilin said in a statement. “We know something will reduce this bloodshed, because we saw that the assault weapons ban worked between 1994 and 2004.”
The ban, enacted during Bill Clinton’s presidency, was not renewed during the George W. Bush administration. 2020 Professor of Criminology Christopher S. Gober’s study found that the number of mass shootings increased after the end of the federal ban on assault weapons.
To pass the Senate, the 1808 Act would have required the support of 50 Democratic senators and at least ten Republican senators, a support currently lacking.
The proposal follows a landmark passage of legislation in June that would strengthen the registration review process for those looking to buy guns, bar those convicted of violence against ex-romantic partners from owning guns, and encourage states to establish red flag laws.