Voting 217 for and 213 against, the House on July 29, 2022, passed a bill (HR 1808) that would prohibit the importation, manufacture and sale of most types of semi-automatic assault weapons, including the AR-15 guns frequently used to carry out mass shootings in the United States. The bill would restore a federal ban on such weapons that was enacted 1994 and was allowed to expire 10 years later in the face of National Rifle Association opposition. Only affecting future inventory, the bill would exempt semi-automatic weapons already in place when the ban takes effect. But the 24 million AR-style guns privately owned in America could not be sold of transferred under the legislation.

The bill would cover several types of semi-automatic assault weapons, listing each one by brand and model.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said: “As we have learned all too well in recent years, assault weapons, especially when combined with high-capacity magazines, are the weapon of choice for mass shootings. These military-style weapons are designed to kill the most people in the shortest amount of time. Quite simply, there is no place for them in our streets.”

Opponent Ben Cline, R-Va., said: “This bill would not reduce violent crime, as Democrats claim. Studies have shown that the effect of the last assault weapons ban, in 1994, on violent crime was perhaps too small for a reliable measurement. Instead, what this bill and all other legislation from Democrats aimed at gun control would do is directly infringe on the rights of law-abiding Americans.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


Voting 260 for and 169 against, the House on July 13, 2022, passed a bill (HR 6538) that would expedite police alerts to the public in real time when an active shooter is at large in the community. Under the bill, law enforcement could issue the alerts by tapping into existing weather and AMBER Alert emergency networks, such as those operated by wireless providers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Nationwide, there were about 60 active-shooter events in 2021 and 40 in 2020. The attorney general would appoint a coordinator to work with all levels of law enforcement to put the system into operation.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter David Cicilline, D-R.I., said police now use “platforms like Twitter and Facebook to let the public know there is a shooter out there. That is why law enforcement organizations from all across the country are asking for this bill….We want to talk about supporting law enforcement? Give them what they ask for. Stop acting like you are experts about responding to active shooting.”

Opponent Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said: “Frankly, this bill is unnecessary. Nothing prevents the states today from creating an alert system for active-shooter incidents. Every state has the capacity to implement a warning system if they choose to….Contrary to the belief of many members of this body, the solution to every issue is not a federal program.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


Voting 234 for and 193 against, the House on June 24, 2022, passed a bill (S 2938) to extend from three days to 10 the allotted time for federal authorities to conduct criminal and mental health background checks on persons under 21 attempting to buy a gun. The bill was also passed by the Senate and was signed into law by President Biden on June 25 on the heels of mass shootings at Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., and other locations. The bill also would:

  • Close the “boyfriend loophole” by requiring the federal background-check database to include all individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders or convicted of at least misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. At present, only spouses under such orders are included in the database;
  • Make “straw purchases” of firearms for others a serious crime if the buyer knows the recipient of the gun is ineligible to buy the gun on their own and/or likely to use the weapon to commit a felony. The provision would apply to all gun purchases, not just those from a federally licensed dealer;
  • Expand criminal penalties to cover all participants in gun trafficking chains regardless of whether the firearms end up being used in the United States or in countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala;
  • Authorize $750 million to encourage states to enact “red-flag” laws permitting temporary confiscation of firearms from individuals found by a judge to be dangerous, $300 million over five years for school-safety programs, and billions to help states and localities expand mental health and crisis intervention programs. The bill’s overall cost was $13.2 billion over five years.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Mike Thompson, D-Calif., said: “This bill saves lives by targeting convicted domestic abusers and felons coercing someone to illegally purchase a gun for them….by strengthening school safety and mental health resources….The millions of gun violence victims and gun violence survivors deserve a `yes’ vote today.”

Opponent Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., said: “Law-abiding Americans do not want more laws chipping away at the Second Amendment. They do not want to see their right to bear arms eliminated on the installment plan. They want prosecutors to prosecute. They want the police to police. They want dangerous criminals off the streets and behind bars.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was passed and sent to President Biden, who signed it into law (PL 117-159) on May 21, 2022Senate vote here.


Voting 223 for and 204 against, the House on June 8, 2022, passed a bill (HR 7910) that would, among other provisions, raise from 18 to 21 years the lawful age for purchasing semiautomatic assault rifles; prohibit the sale, manufacture and possession of magazines holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition; expand regulations against the manufacture, sale or possession of bump stocks for civilian use; and add untraceable “ghost guns” to the list of weapons subject to federal firearms laws and regulations.

The bill died in the Senate as a result of Republican opposition. But the House and Senate then agreed on a softer, bipartisan gun-safety measure (S 2938) that President Biden signed into law on June 25.

This vote occurred 14 days after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults, and came 24 days after one at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket that killed 10 shoppers and employees. Acting alone, the gunmen in both massacres were 18 years old and used the type of semi-automatic weapons this bill sought to keep from young people. The Uvalde shooter used an AR-15-style rifle and the Buffalo gunman a modified Bushmaster AK-15 rifle.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said: “A person shot with an AR–15 looks like a grenade exploded in their body….In Uvalde, Texas, little kids were decapitated and had their faces blown off. A person under 21 cannot buy a Budweiser. We should not let a person under 21 buy an AR–15 weapon of war.”

Opponent Ben Cline, R-Va., said: “Overall, this bill is an attempt to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens while ignoring the broader problems of why these tragedies are happening. Let’s talk about school resource officers in our schools. Let’s talk about fortifying school buildings. Let’s talk about ending the dangerous mirage of gun-free zones.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


Voting 219 for and 210 against, the House on March 11, 2021, passed a bill (HR 1446) that would allow more time for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to complete reviews of impending gun sales. Under rules then in effect, sales would automatically go through if the check was not finished within three days. The bill would extend the window from to as many as 20 business days.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the bill would “close a dangerous loophole that puts weapons in the hands of individuals who should not legally be permitted to purchase them merely because the FBI is not able to complete the background check in time.”

Opponent Kat Cammack, R-Fla., said the bill “puts the onus on individuals to contact the government if their background check hasn’t been completed in 10 days. You know who cannot afford to wait? The single mom looking to protect herself and her children from a violent ex who has just been released from jail.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


The House on March 11, 2021, voted, 227 for and 203 against, to expand federal gun background checks to cover sales conducted at gun shows, over the Internet or through classified ads, with an exception for sales between family members. The bill (HR 8) would plug loopholes that allowed millions of U.S. firearms sales to skirt the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is structured to deny guns to the mentally ill, individuals with criminal records and domestic abusers.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Mike Thompson, D-Calif., said: “Every day 30 people are killed by someone using a gun. That number jumps to 100 if you factor in accidents and suicides involving guns. The steady stream of gun violence devastates families, communities, and schools….This status quo is not okay.

Opponent Greg Murphy, R-N.C., said the bill would “absurdly hamper people’s ability to exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves. This sort of broad government overreach does not save lives but treats everyday law-abiding citizens like criminals.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.