Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022. In response, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Today, the House has taken a crucial step that will save lives and keep our communities safe. During its 10 years in effect, the 1994 federal assault weapons ban reduced mass shootings and the number of deaths and injuries that result from them. We applaud the House for correcting Congress’ tragic error of putting politics before principles and letting the ban expire in 2004, after which mass shooting deaths soared by 347 percent. It is also important to recognize the inspiring leadership of grassroots advocates and survivors from Uvalde, Texas; Highland Park, Illinois; and Parkland, Florida, who know firsthand the harm that assault weapons can cause. These advocates met with House leadership and other legislators about this ban and remained steadfast in their fight to strengthen our gun laws.
While we urge the Senate to build upon the foundation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and pass this necessary legislation, Senate Republicans have made their intention to obstruct this bill very clear. MAGA extremists have proven, time and time again, that they would rather line the pockets of the gun lobby and flood our streets with weapons of war than ensure everyone feels safe in their communities.
In August, House Democrats have promised to resume negotiations on additional legislation to tackle violent crime and improve community safety. It’s important that they do not repeat past mistakes of overpolicing and mass incarceration, which not only perpetuated systemic racism but also failed to effectively curb crime. Getting guns off our streets is a critical first step. We also must ensure we have an effective and accountable police force while, at the same, time investing in community-driven programs to stop violence before it happens and address the root causes of crime.
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