DC statehood push faces long odds despite record support
First House Republican backs bill banning assault weapons
Rep. Pete King (N.Y.) is the first House Republican to back a bill in the chamber seeking to ban assault weapons.
"I don't see any need for them in everyday society," he added.
The bill, rolled out in February by Rep. David Cicilline (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.
"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 McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed to not bring such legislation to the upper chamber's floor. President Trump has also expressed opposition to the bill.