US House of Representatives passes semi-automatic gun ban after 18-year lapse

Second Amendment

The United States House of Representatives has passed legislation to revive a ban on certain semi-automatic guns, the first vote of its kind in years and a direct response to the firearms often used in the crush of mass shootings ripping through communities nationwide.

Semi-automatic firearms automatically reload after each shot and are capable of firing as rapidly as the trigger can be pulled. 

Many were once banned in the US and are now widely blamed as the weapon of choice among young men responsible for many of the most devastating mass shootings.

However, Congress allowed the restrictions first put in place in 1994 on the manufacture and sales of the weapons to expire a decade later, unable to muster the political support to counter the powerful gun lobby and reinstate the weapons ban.

Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed the vote toward passage in the Democratic-run House, saying the earlier ban “saved lives”.

President Joe Biden hailed the House vote, saying: “The majority of the American people agree with this common-sense action.”

He urged the Senate to “move quickly to get this bill to my desk”.

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