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Pingree Votes to Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban

  • Assault Weapons Ban Vote Count

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and the U.S. House today passed the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022 (H.R. 1808), which would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The legislation, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and cosponsored by Pingree, restores and updates the previous assault weapons ban that kept weapons of war out of our communities for a decade before Republicans opposed its renewal.  

“Assault weapons don’t just kill, they decimate the human body—to the point Uvalde parents had to identify their children by what shoes they wore to school. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their child’s safety at school. This is a uniquely American fear. These weapons are designed for the battlefield and to slaughter with maximum destruction. Weapons of war have no place in our communities,” said Pingree. “When the federal ban on assault weapons expired nearly two decades ago, data show there was an almost immediate, steep rise in mass shooting deaths. That’s no coincidence. In fact, researchers have estimated the likelihood of mass shooting deaths fell by 70 percent when the assault weapons ban was in effect.”

“Today, I was proud to vote alongside my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ban assault weapons so we can finally put an end to America’s gun violence epidemic.”

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2022:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. The ban does not apply to semiautomatic assault weapons that are lawfully possessed on the date of enactment.
  • Defines semiautomatic assault weapons to include: 
    • Rifles, shotguns, and pistols that (1) are semiautomatic, (2) can accept a detachable ammunition feeding device, and (3) have at least one additional listed feature that make firearms especially deadly
    • Certain semiautomatic firearms with large capacity fixed ammunition feeding devices o Specific prohibited firearms listed by model and manufacturer
    • Frames, receivers, and copies of these firearms 
  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.
  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Exemptions to bill:

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.
  • The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.


In June, Pingree and the House passed The Protecting Our Kids Act, bipartisan gun violence legislation that would raise the lawful age to purchase a semiautomatic centerfire rifle from 18 to 21 years old, close the “ghost gun” loophole, outlaw bump stocks and high-capacity magazines for civilians, strengthen safe storage requirements, and crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to get illegal guns off our streets. 

In addition, Pingree helped pass the bipartisan Background Checks Act to expand the current federal background check to cover nearly all firearm sales, and the Enhanced Background Checks Act to close the so-called “Charleston loophole,” which enables some firearms to be transferred by licensed gun dealers before the required background checks have been completed. The Senate has yet to act on any of this legislation.

Click here to learn more about how Pingree is working to prevent gun violence. 


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