House legislation to ban assault rifles for the first time in many years squeaked by on Friday through a vote mostly delineated by party lines.
But as it next makes its way to the Senate, a measure advocates say is a reasonable response to recent horrific mass shootings is expected to make little to no headway in that upper chamber.
Indeed, many reports simply stated it’s almost assuredly doomed to fail.
The legislation was approved by a 217 to 213 vote in a Dem-majority House. Five Democrats broke with party lines to oppose it. Just two Republicans, one representing the Buffalo, N.Y., district where a mass shooting left 10 dead in May, voted in favor.
The Senate math is even more daunting, even in the face of calls to action that have followed the latest deadly shootings.
Consider: In the 100-member Senate, Democrats have just 50 seats, holding the slimmest of majorities when one factors in a potential tie-breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris.
What’s more, though, 10 Republican votes are needed to bring a measure to the floor for consideration.
Republican lawmakers, anticipating more rancorous debate to come, quickly pushed back against their Democratic colleagues.
“Gun manufacturers do not cause violent crime,” said Rep. James Comer of Kentucky. “Criminals cause violent crime.”
“We’ll continue to protect the rights of all law-abiding gun owners who safely use, store and carry firearms including the AR-15,” Comer said.
Others in the GOP also stood firmly against limits on ownership of the high-powered firearms in a heated debate that preceded the House vote.
“It’s a gun-grab, pure and simple,” said Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania, according to The Guardian.
Likewise, the publication quoted House colleague Andrew Clyde of Georgia as saying, “An armed America is a safe and free America.”
Meanwhile, the Texas Tribune quoted Republican Louis Gohmert: “What would do more right now than banning AR-15s would be to ban Democrat thinking in the big cities that’s allowing the crime rates to just explode.”
History, Contentious and Violent
Congress passed a 10-year ban on assault rifles and certain high-capacity magazines in 1994 but lawmakers let it expire in 2004 and sales of the weapons have soared since then.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the latest bill a “crucial step in our ongoing fight against the deadly epidemic of gun violence in our nation.”
It would ban the sale, import, manufacture or transfer of certain semi-automatic weapons such as those used in recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Highland Park, Illinois.
An avowed white supremacist shot dead 10 African Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo in May.
Nineteen schoolchildren and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old man at an elementary school in Uvalde that same month and seven people were shot dead at a July 4 parade in Highland Park.
After the Uvalde massacre, President Joe Biden appealed to lawmakers to again ban assault rifles or at least raise the minimum age for buying them from 18 to 21.
But Republican lawmakers, who see such a restriction as going against the constitutional right to bear arms, have refused to go along.
Newsmax contributed to this report.