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Rep. Peter King is first Republican to join ‘assault weapon’ ban by House Democrats

The LBJ School of Public Affairs and the LBJ Presidential Library hosted U.S. Rep. Peter King, a 12-term Republican congressman from Long Island, NY, on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 (Jay Godwin/LBJ Library/Released)
August 20, 2019

Rep. Peter King became the first Republican to sign the Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2019

On Friday, King joined as a co-sponsor to the bill, which was introduced in February by Democrat Rep. David N. Cicilline, although it became public on Congress’ website on Monday, New York Daily News first reported.

“They are weapons of mass slaughter,” King told New York Daily News. “I don’t see any need for them in everyday society.”

“I think the assault weapons ban is timely now, especially in view of the shooting in El Paso and Dayton,” he said.

“These weapons belong on the battlefield, not in our homes, schools, houses of worship or workplaces,” Cicilline told New York Daily News.

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“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,” Cicilline added.

The bill has gathered 200 Democrat cosponsors so far as of Tuesday, 11 of which joined after the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayon, Ohio.

“The tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton demonstrate again the need to address gun violence. Sensible gun regulation is essential as is psychological study of who resorts to gun violence and why and what early indicators there might be,” King had said in a statement on his website on Aug. 5 after the shootings. “Our prayers must be with those killed and wounded and their families.”

Republican Reps. Brian Mast and Mike Turner previously voiced support of an “assault weapons” ban but have not yet signed onto the bill.

Even if the bill passes the House, it isn’t likely to go anywhere in the Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed not to bring such a bill to the floor for a vote.

Further, President Trump has also expressed opposition to legislation that would ban guns, even saying that he saw “no political appetite” for such a ban, according to The Huffington Post.

He has, however, spoken favorably of “red flag” gun confiscation laws and stronger background checks.

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On Sunday, Trump said he would strongly consider ideas from Republicans and Democrats on background checks, but advised, “But just remember, we already have a lot of background checks. OK?” according to New York Daily News.