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U.S. House passes bill to ban assault weapons

Aerial photo shows a gun-shape formation made up of school buses in Houston, the United States, on July 13, 2022.(Change the Ref/Handout via Xinhua)

--- The legislation would prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

--- However, the bill has little chance of progressing in the Senate due to clear opposition from the Republicans.

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday to ban assault weapons with a narrow 217-213 vote.

The legislation would prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

But it would allow the possession of any semiautomatic assault weapon lawfully possessed on the date of enactment and the sale or transfer of any semiautomatic assault weapon lawfully possessed on the date of enactment following a background check, among other things.

"There are more guns than people in this country -- more mass shootings than days in the year," Congressman David Cicilline, a major sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "This is a uniquely American problem."

However, the bill has little chance of progressing in the Senate due to clear opposition from the Republicans.

People gather during a rally decrying rising gun violence while urging politicians to take action in Washington, D.C., the United States, June 11, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Gun violence has taken more than 25,500 lives across the United States so far this year, according to the latest data from Gun Violence Archive.

Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines have been frequently used in the violence that plagues the United States.

Of all mass shooting incidents between 2009 and 2018, assault weapons accounted for 25 percent of deaths and 76 percent of nonfatal injuries, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, an American nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence.

Currently, only seven U.S. states and Washington, D.C. have banned assault weapons. ■