US House panel to weigh assault weapons ban next week

The US House Judiciary Committee will take up proposed legislation that would ban certain assault weapons, the panel said on Friday, citing a string of mass shootings across the United States that have killed 42 people in the past two months.

The committee will meet on Wednesday to mark up the bill, which "would ban the sale, import, manufacture or transfer of certain semi-automatic weapons," it said in a statement.

A spate of recent killings targeting a New York grocery store, a Texas elementary school and an Illinois Independence Day parade follow other high-profile shootings and have renewed US debate over gun safety and regulations.

"Over the past several decades, our country has witnessed senseless killing after senseless killing, and each time one fact has remained remarkably consistent — the weapon of choice for mass slaughter is a high-powered assault weapon,” Committee Chairman US Representative Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, said in a statement that cited AR-15 style firearms.

The bill would allow the sales of such weapons lawfully possessed on the date of the bill's enactment, if it passes. It also would not apply to antique, manually-operated or certain models of hunting and sporting firearms, the panel said.

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