Republican Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) on Monday signed on to the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, becoming the first GOP House member to co-sponsor the legislation backed by 200 Democrats.
What are the details?
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).
Congressman King told the New York Daily News that such firearms "are weapons of mass slaughter," and he "doesn't see any need for them in everyday society."
While the New York Republican had already been considering signing on to the legislation — which was proposed by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) back in February — King said , "I think the assault weapons ban is timely now, especially in view of the shooting in El Paso and Dayton."
King also said that he hoped his move would encourage more of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join him in backing the ban, adding, "It might give cover to some other Republicans, it might give some incentive to Democrats."
Cicilline praised King for signing on to the legislation, telling the Daily News, "These weapons belong on the battlefield, not in our homes, schools, houses of worship or workplaces. I'm pleased that Congressman King has joined this effort. I sincerely hope that more of my Republican 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."
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.