House Passes ‘Protecting Our Kids Act’ Gun Control Package

The House of Representatives just passed a massive gun control package, but it has a tumultuous battle within the bipartisan senate.

By Erika Hanson | Published

Teens Taken Into Custody After Bringing Fake Gun Into School

gun control

The major topic of discussion in politics has focused on mass shootings in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas two weeks ago. On June 8th, House Democrats announced a sweeping gun control package taking aim at restrictions on who can obtain firearms, along with seeking limitations to rounds of ammunition among other things was set to pass. But like in nearly every other instance of similar legislation making its way through congress, it has a long passage ahead as it seeks Senate approval across party lines. However, according to statements, something appears different, as the act is gaining some Republican approval this time around. 

MSNBC News reports that the Protecting Our Kids Act taking aim at gun control received House approval with support from five Republican Reps. that crossed party lines. Covering quite a few different safety measures, the gun control bill includes raising the age limit for the purchase of certain semi-automatic firearms in America from 18 to 21. It also seeks to codify executive orders to restrict bump stocks devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire more rounds of ammunition at faster rates.

Additionally, the gun control act looks to restrict the circulation of “ghost guns” that don’t have unique serial numbers for tracing. It would also create a new “red flag” law allowing federal courts to temporarily block someone from purchasing a gun if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others. Much of this is said to be in direct response to the lack of safety measures that allegedly led to some recent mass shootings in the nation.

Two of the deadliest mass shooting this year took place within 10 days of each other. Both gunmen involved in the Buffalo supermarket shooting, and the Robb Elementary one were 18 years of age. Likewise, the gun control proposal of a red flag law is likely mirroring the failed New York system, which never correctly flagged the Buffalo shooter after he threatened to enact similar violence at his high school less than a year before. Furthermore, both men legally purchased the assault rifles they used to slaughter innocent lives.

Now that the gun control measure goes to the Senate, it has quite the uphill battle ahead, and if its anything like similar packages that have followed other deadly school shootings in past years, it will likely fail negotiations. However, US News reports that some Republicans are hinting at support for the notion to raise the legal age limit for some firearms. But despite signals of support by some, the majority of Senate Republicans will likely be opposed.

The passing of the gun control act came just after victims and family members of both the Buffalo and Uvalde shooting gave gutwrenching testimonies at a hearing in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. One emotional account came from Miah Cerrillo, the 11-year-old survivor inside the classroom where the 18-year-old gunmen killed 19 children and two teachers. 

As Senate members are set to debate the gun control measures on Friday, there is a long battle ahead, and discussions and negotiations will likely take a hefty amount of time. 10 GOP senators would be needed to cross party lines and vote with Democrats to pass the act. If anything, possibly one or two parts of the large package will be agreed upon.