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In 'vote of conscience,' ban on assault weapons narrowly passes in House.

Municipal elected officials and the people they represent, scored a tremendous victory last week when the House of Representatives voted 216-214 in favor of NLC-backed legislation that would ban the future manufacture and importation of semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition.

Passage of the measure virtually guarantees that any crime bill signed by President Clinton will ban assault weapons.

Calling the vote "a vote of conscience," NLC President Sharpe James, mayor of Newark, N.J., said the ban is "a modest, yet momentous step to make the streets of our cities and towns safer and less violent, and the National League of Cities applauds the House leaders and members who supported it."

The measure, HR 4296, lists 19 specific semi-automatic weapons that would be banned. All weapons owned prior to implementation of the bill would be "grandfathered in." The bill also lists 650 hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns explicitly exempt from the ban.

"Much more work remains in our efforts to reduce crime and violence, and this has made us much more optimistic about being able to accomplish that goal," said James. The measure is expected to be included in the House-passed anti-crime bill, HR 4092, and, in conference, meet S. 1607.
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Title Annotation:House of Representatives
Author:Quist, Janet
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:May 9, 1994
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