House votes to increase minimum age for purchase of semi-automatic weapons

The House voted 228-199 to increase the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon to 21 in response to mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas in recent weeks.

Zeneta Everhart, mother of Buffalo shooting victim Zaire Goodman, testified before the House Oversight Committee, June 8, 2022 as one of the family members of recent shooting victims asking for further gun control according to Fox News.

The White House put it’s support firmly behind the legislation, which is thought to have little chance of passing the Senate, saying that the administration is grateful for the movement of the gun restriction legislation.

“Thank you to @SpeakerPelosi & the House for passing bipartisan legislation to strengthen gun laws & protect children. Soon, the House will do more to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. We continue to work hard with both parties to save lives and stand up for families.”

The bill was carried by a vote of 223-204, primarily along party lines. As it continues negotiations aimed at boosting mental health services, bolstering school security, and improving background checks, it has little chance of passing the Senate. The law would also make it illegal to sell ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

The vote comes after a House committee heard testimony from recent shooting victims and family members, including Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old girl who covered herself in a deceased classmate’s blood to avoid being shot last month at the Uvalde elementary school.

The House bill combines a number of Democratic initiatives proposed before to the recent massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde. The suspects in the shootings at the Uvalde primary school and the Buffalo supermarket were both 18 years old at the time they purchased the semi-automatic guns used in the crimes, according to investigators.

The House bill also includes incentives to encourage the use of safe gun storage devices, as well as penalties for violating safe storage requirements, such as a fine and up to five years in prison if a gun is not properly stored and then used by a minor to injure or kill themselves or another person.