First House Republican backs bill banning assault weapons

Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingBiden pays homage to Obama by rocking tan suit during birthday week Newsmax anchor Greg Kelly to host New York radio show Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee 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.

The bill, rolled out in February by Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit In their own words: Lawmakers, staffers remember Jan. 6 insurrection Lawmakers call for investigation into proposed AT&T WarnerMedia, Discovery merger 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.

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"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.

"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 McConnell​​Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Hogan won't say if he will file to run for Senate by Feb. 22 deadline Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed to not bring such legislation to the upper chamber's floor. President TrumpDonald TrumpWendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Senate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Former acting Defense secretary under Trump met with Jan. 6 committee: report MORE has also expressed opposition to the bill.