the House of Representatives agrees to restrict access to weapons

A text of essentially symbolic value, whose chance of being adopted by the Senate is nil or almost. But he keeps the gun control debate alive, after the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings.

Only a few weeks after the Uvalde and Buffalo killings in the United States, the House of Representatives has just voted in favor of a restrictive bill, adopted by 223 votes against 204. The scope of the text is essentially symbolic: it should logically be challenged in the Senate, in the absence of a Democratic majority. But it is fueling the debate over gun control in the United States.

Among the key measures, the “Protecting our Kids Act” provides for the revision of the minimum age required to acquire a semi-automatic rifle. Today set at 18, this law would increase it to 21. In Uvalde as in Buffalo, the killers were barely 18 years old.

Other measures: the text prohibits large capacity magazine devices (greater than 20 or 30 cartridges depending on the weapon) and toughens the penalties for arms trafficking. It also establishes rules for the storage of firearms in homes, a fundamental element in restricting the access of children or adolescents to the possessions of their parents. He also returns to the definition of a “ghost weapon”, these objects manufactured in a traditional way and untraceable because devoid of a serial number.

After narrowly passing the House of Representatives, this legislative package is therefore heading for the Senate, where the lack of a clear majority among the Democrats does not warrant any optimism. Composed of 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, it seems unlikely that 60 of them (majority necessary for the text to be voted on) agree on this restrictive project.

marginal sling

Especially since, as the American media NBC News reports, elected Republicans are scrutinized by their peers so that the text has no chance of succeeding. In the House of Representatives in particular, “Republican leaders emailed their offices to pressure members to ‘vote ‘no’ to the bill”explains NBC News.

Pressures that did not prevent five Republicans from opposing their party, speaking out in favor of the bill. But this revolt remains marginal on the scale of the conservative party and cannot guarantee the outcome of the discussions in the Senate. It is all the more nuanced since, during the vote on Wednesday, two elected Democrats spoke out against the restriction of access to firearms.

In parallel with this project, the Senate is also working on the subject, but around limited proposals, such as the verification of the criminal or psychological background of purchasers of individual weapons, which associations have been calling for for years. Its Democratic leader Chuck Schumer had indicated Thursday that the upper house would vote on “firearm control measures”without giving further details.


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