At the center of several murders that have shocked America, the US Congress voted to ban assault rifles in its first reading on Friday. If the text passes in the House of Representatives, it will fail in the Senate.
The text, sponsored by Democratic Party leader Joe Biden, was adopted by the House of Representatives by a vote of 213 to 217. But because of supermajority rules in the upper house of Congress, ten Republican senators must vote with their 50 Democratic colleagues to ban assault rifles.
read more: Arms manufacturers in the grill of the US Congress
This perspective is unlikely because of partisan divisions over weapons. On Friday, only two Republican representatives added their voices to those of Democrats.
However, in 1994, Congress passed legislation that banned assault rifles and certain high-capacity magazines for ten years. It expired in 2004, and since then sales of these weapons, advertised by manufacturers as “sporting guns,” have soared. They have earned more than a billion dollars in the past ten years, according to a parliamentary report.
Massacres with AR-15 rifles at a Texas school (21 dead), a supermarket frequented by African-Americans (10 dead) and a National Day parade (7 dead) have recently renewed calls to ban them. After the Uvalde school carnage, Joe Biden appealed to Congress to raise the legal age to buy them to 21.
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