WASHINGTON – The House passed Friday a bill that would ban assault weapons after a summer of deadly mass shootings that reignited calls for more gun control.
Although the measure passed largely along party lines, two Republicans and five Democrats broke with their parties on the vote. according to the official count.
Assault weapons have been used in numerous mass shootings, including this year’s slayings in Uvalde and Buffalo; Parkland, Fla. in 2018; Las Vegas in 2017; and Newton Connecticut in 2012.
There is not yet a scheduled vote in the Senate on the assault weapons ban, though the measure is the camera is not expected to pass. At least 10 Republican senators would have to join the 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster.
Here’s what we know about why all seven House members broke ranks on the vote.
Republicans voting for the bill
Republican Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Chris Jacobs of New York voted in favor of the ban along with 215 of their Democratic colleagues.
Jacobs, whose Western New York district includes suburban Buffalo, announced in June that I would not seek re-election while facing backlash for his support of gun control measures.
He said in a prepared statement that while he “strongly” supports the Second Amendment, he does not support “ready access to high-powered semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines that have time and time again resulted in mass shootings.” Uvalde’s shooting prompted him to support an assault weapons ban, he said.
“We have a duty to ensure the safety of all Americans,” Jacobs said. “These weapons do not belong to our communities. While this bill is not perfect, I believe it will save innocent lives.”
USA TODAY also requested comment from Fitzpatrick’s office.
Democrats voting against the bill
The five Democrats who voted “no” on the bill along with 208 Republicans were Representatives Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.
James Rivera, a spokesman for Gonzalez, told USA TODAY that while Gonzalez supports other gun control measures, the assault rifle ban doesn’t solve the problem.
“There are already tens of millions of assault rifles in circulation across the United States, many of them used by responsible gun owners to hunt in South Texas,” Rivera said. “And banning some of those models will do nothing to reduce the overall risks. Our focus must be on keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others.”
Kind said in a prepared statement that while he also supports some gun control measures, the bill was “hurriedly rushed” to the House floor, giving him no chance to study it or consult with law enforcement groups. enforce Wisconsin law and its constituents. He also raised concerns about the current legislation’s definition of assault weapons, fearing that too broad a definition could lead to a “crackdown” on other weapons.
USA TODAY requested comment from the offices of the other three members of Congress.
Contributor: Katherine Swartz, Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 7 House members broke with their party on assault weapons ban