US House passes gun reform bill, law unlikely

Despite regular mass shootings in the United States, Congress has rarely acted on gun reform. Photo: Getty

A wide-ranging gun control bill has passed the US House following recent mass shootings in New York and Texas.

The bill would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds.

Legislation passed by a mostly party-line vote of 223-204.

It has almost no chance of becoming law as the Senate pursues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks.

But the House bill does allow Democratic MPs a chance to frame for voters in November where they stand on policies polls show are widely supported.

“We can’t save every life, but my God, shouldn’t we try? America we hear you and today in the House we are taking the action you are demanding,” said Texas Democrat Veronica Escobar.

The push comes after a House committee heard heart-wrenching testimony from recent shooting victims and family members, including 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, who covered herself with a dead classmate’s blood to avoid being shot at the Uvalde primary school in Texas.

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