The House passed a gun control bill Wednesday in response to the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
The legislation would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds.
It was passed with a vote of 223-204, but has almost no chance of passing in the Senate, which is focused on improving mental health programs and school security and enhancing background checks.
“We can’t save every life, but my God, shouldn’t we try?” said Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar. “America we hear you and today in the House we are taking the action you are demanding”.
Before the vote, a House committee heard testimonies from shooting victims and family members, including 11-year-old girl Miah Cerrillo.
Cerrillo covered herself with a dead classmate’s blood to avoid being shot at the Uvalde elementary school.
“[He] shot my teacher and told my teacher ‘goodnight’ … He shot my friend that was next to me … I grabbed her blood and I put it all over me,” she explained.
“It’s sickening, it’s sickening that our children are forced to live in this constant fear,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Lawmakers are working to find common ground, but many have deeply opposing positions.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said “The answer is not to destroy the Second Amendment, but that is exactly where the Democrats want to go”.
The bill includes incentives to increase the use of safe gun storage devises and introduces penalties for violating safe storage requirements, reported the New York Post.
It also provides a fine and imprisonment of up to five years if a gun is not properly stored and is used by a minor to injure or kill themselves or someone else.