GOP Rep. Peter King joins House Dems in backing ‘assault weapons’ ban: ‘Time for gun control is now’

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Republican Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) this week signed on to the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, becoming the first GOP House member to co-sponsor the legislation backed by 200 Democrats, in order to get rid of what he refers to as “weapons of mass slaughter.”

“I don’t see any need for them in everyday society,” King said.The Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 was rolled out in February by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), with 190 other Democrats onboard. An additional 11 lawmakers signed on after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left dozens of people dead and many more injured, with King being among the most recent.

The Hill reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised to block such legislation in the Republican-led upper chamber, and President Donald Trump has “expressed opposition to the bill.”

Rep. King has sponsored a number of gun control proposals in the past, as noted by Newsday, and the GOP congressman has an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association.

The bill, H.R. 1296, “makes it a crime to knowingly import, sell, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapons (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).

On August 14, Breitbart News reported that the “assault weapons” push became central for Democrats after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) signaled his willingness to take up gun control when the Senate reconvenes in September. McConnell said that universal background checks will probably “lead the discussion,” but he also said an “assault weapons” ban would be front and center.

King has been focused on background checks but recent events renewed his focus for an “assault weapons” bill. He said, “I think the assault weapons ban is timely now, especially in view of the shooting in El Paso and Dayton.”

King stepping forward could encourage other Republicans to do so and prod Democrats in districts that have partisan makeups similar to King’s district, which leans only slightly Republican. “It might give cover to some other Republicans, it might give some incentive to Democrats,” King said of his move. Cicilline, a vice chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, hailed King.


“These weapons belong on the battlefield, not in our homes, schools, houses of worship or workplaces,” he said. “I’m pleased that Congressman King has joined this effort. I sincerely hope that more of my Republicans colleagues will put their service to our country and the safety of their constituents ahead of their need to raise campaign money from the gun lobby.”

Speaking to reporters in New Jersey on Sunday before boarding Air Force One, he only said he was waiting for Congress to report back to him on new ideas. “They’ll come in from Democrats and Republicans. And I’ll look at it very strongly,” Trump said. “But just remember, we already have a lot of background checks. OK?”

The new background check bills would close loopholes that skip checks in private sales and would extend deadlines for federal authorities to conduct checks.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Trump for his softening rhetoric.

… Everything they do after a disaster involves taking guns away from the people who didn’t do it.


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