Politics Explained

Where does Congress stand now on gun control measures?

Votes in the House of Representatives show intent, but mean little without action in the Senate, writes Chris Stevenson

<p>Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in Washington on Wednesday, the day of the House vote </p>

Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in Washington on Wednesday, the day of the House vote

Midway through last week, the US House of Representatives passed a package of legislation to tighten gun controls called the “Protecting Our Kids Act”. The vote on the act took place just hours after emotional testimony was given to a House committee by those affected by gun violence.

Those testifying included 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, a student at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, who described covering herself in her classmate’s blood in an effort to pretend she was dead. “I put it all over me,” she said in a pre-recorded video, adding that she wants “to have security” and is afraid of experiencing another school shooting.

In a sign of the polarising nature of the issue of gun control in Congress, the vote on the measures – which include individual bills that would raise the legal age to buy certain semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 years old, and establish new federal offences for gun trafficking and for selling large-capacity magazines – passed by 223 to 204. Five Republicans joined those backing the bill, including Chris Jacobs of New York, whom I have written about previously. Two Democrats joined the majority of the Republican members in voting no.

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