The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a law to control the sale of guns to civilians by raising the legal age for buying assault rifles from 18 years to 21 years, The Associated Press reported.
It also introduced new federal offences for gun trafficking and selling high-capacity magazines in the country.
The law, Protecting Our Kids Act, was passed with 223 votes in favour and 204 votes in opposition. Five Republicans were among those who voted in favour of the Bill, while two Democrats were among those who voted against it, according to CNN.
However, the proposed law is unlikely to be passed in the Senate, which comprises 50 Democrats and an equal number of Republicans. Most Bills need 60 votes to pass, which makes it difficult for contentious laws to be cleared.
Democrat legislator Veronica Escobar, during a discussion on the Bill, said that the House is working on gun control laws as demanded by the country, according to AP. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that it was sickening that children had to live in constant fear.
On the other hand, Republican leader Jim Jordan said that while protecting children was important, the Bill did not do that. “What this Bill does is take away second amendment rights, God-given rights, protected by our Constitution from law-abiding American citizens,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the House Committee heard the testimony of an 11-year-old girl who had covered herself in her dead classmate’s blood to save herself during the shooting at the Uvalde elementary school.
The Bill was passed nearly a week after United States President Joe Biden urged legislators to ban assault weapons or at least raise the minimum age to buy them.
Biden had said that in the past two decades, more schoolchildren had died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military personnel combined.