First House Republican backs bill banning assault weapons

Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingLawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Democrat who opposed Trump, Clinton impeachment inquiries faces big test House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues MORE (N.Y.) is the first House Republican to back a bill in the chamber seeking to ban assault weapons.

"They are weapons of mass slaughter," King told the New York Daily News on Monday shortly after his support for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 as a co-sponsor became public on Congress's website.

“I don’t see any need for them in everyday society,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bill, rolled out in February by Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Smaller companies testify against Big Tech's 'monopoly power' Living in limbo may end for Liberians in the US MORE (D-R.I.), has 200 Democratic co-sponsors.

It would ban semi-automatic firearms and large-capacity magazines, proposals which have drawn more attention following back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left a combined 32 dead and dozens more injured earlier this month.

While King had previously backed background checks for gun purchases, the two tragedies moved him to support Cicilline's bill.

"I think the assault weapons ban is timely now, especially in view of the shooting in El Paso and Dayton," he told the Daily News.

Cicilline praised King for becoming the first Republican to back his bill.

“These weapons belong on the battlefield, not in our homes, schools, houses of worship or workplaces," he said, according to the Daily News.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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.”

Despite the new support, a ban on military-style weapons won't become law anytime soon even if it passes the Democratic House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed to not bring such legislation to the upper chamber's floor. President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE has also expressed opposition to the bill.