House Passes Gun Control Package as Senate Negotiations Progress 

June 9, 2022 by Reece Nations
House Passes Gun Control Package as Senate Negotiations Progress 
The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Friday, April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON — Gun safety legislation introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., passed in the House of Representatives on a 223-204 vote, sending a slate of new proposed restrictions on firearms to the Senate.

Nadler’s package of bills contains provisions to raise the minimum age to buy a semiautomatic rifle or shotgun to 21, add restrictions on the purchase of firearms, require that all guns be traceable, and add restrictions on large capacity ammunition feeding devices, according to its text. Additionally, the bill would make it unlawful to store guns without a secure storage or safety device and would establish a safe firearm storage credit.

Further, the bill contains a section on “closing the bump stock loophole” which would broaden the definition of the term to include any component that materially increases the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon. It would also use grants to establish buy-back programs for large-capacity magazines.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would increase revenues by $6 million over the next 10 years and would increase direct spending by $5 million in that same period. 


“How many more communities must be visited by tragedy before we take action?” Nadler said in remarks from the House floor. “Let today be the day that we begin to end this cycle of gun violence, … take meaningful action to protect our communities and, most of all, to protect our kids.”

Republicans repeatedly argued against the legislation’s provisions during the debate period by pointing out that the large-capacity magazine ban could be subverted by simply carrying more smaller-capacity magazines, just as the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech mass shooting did in April 2007, or by stating that forcing gun owners to store their weapons in gun safes would only empower home intruders to strike.

Their arguments against the package during the debate period ranged from stating that school hardening should be a greater priority than added restrictions, that the legislation contains redundancies with established gun laws, and that it would limit self-defense options for victims of domestic violence and rural residents who contend with hostile wildlife.

“[Democrats] are out to get the Second Amendment,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in remarks from the House floor. “The right of the American people … to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That’s what bothers them — they don’t trust ‘we the people.’”


In response, Democrats characterized their colleagues across the aisle as being beholden to gun lobbyists, favoring unfettered access to firearms, and subverting the will of the American people who for years have supported enacting stricter gun laws. They cited various statistics to back their contentions, noting that gun trafficking is a serious contributor to violent crime and mass shootings have fallen off in countries that enacted similar measures.

In addition to taking steps to protect people in schools and public settings, Nadler said the bill would protect members of law enforcement who respond to the increasingly frequent crises. In contrast, Jordan accused Democrats of targeting law-abiding gun owners with restrictions that violent criminals are bound to ignore.

“Listen, if you want to accomplish something today, pass what many states have done, and that’s [making] resources available to secure schools,” Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis., said in opposition to the legislation. “Thirteen-hundred Wisconsin schools have removed themselves from the list of the most vulnerable with state dollars.”

Negotiations in the Senate continue among a bipartisan delegation led by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., where the support of 10 Republicans is needed to send the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk for enactment. Murphy told Capitol Hill reporters on Tuesday that his goal is to reach an agreement by the end of this week and that negotiations had focused on mental health funding and strengthening criminal background records.

Whatever course of action the lawmakers ultimately agree to, it is not expected to include a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15, according to reports. Rather, the deal is expected to make minor, gradual alterations to the nation’s gun laws.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear how parents have to explain to their kids what to do if there’s an active shooter [at school] — as if it’s inevitable,” Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., said in support of the legislation. “We know what we can do to help prevent future tragedies like Uvalde. We can pass common-sense gun safety policies like this legislation.”


The package ultimately did pass with each of its sections intact. It was not a party-line vote as two Democrats voted against the measure and five Republicans voted for it. The package now heads to the upper chamber where it’s expected to be tailored in committee to match the ongoing bipartisan negotiations. 

Reece can be reached at [email protected] and @ReeceNations

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