40,000 Americans die each year from gunshot wounds.
The US Congress voted on Friday at first reading to ban assault rifles, semi-automatic weapons at the heart of several killings that have shocked the United States.
The bill, backed by Democratic President Joe Biden, passed the House of Representatives with 217 votes in favor and 213 against, but appears doomed in the Senate.
Due to supermajority rules in the upper house of Congress, 10 Republican senators would need to vote with their 50 Democratic colleagues to ban assault rifles.
This perspective is unlikely as the partisan divides are great on the subject of weapons: Friday, only two Republican representatives added their voices to those of the Democrats.
Yet, in 1994, Congress succeeded in passing a law banning assault rifles and certain high-capacity magazines for ten years.
It expired in 2004 and, since then, sales of these weapons, promoted by manufacturers as sporting rifles, have soared. Over the past ten years, they have brought in more than $1 billion, according to a parliamentary report.
In an America deeply divided over the use of guns, Joe Biden tries to ban the sale of AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles.
Massacres committed with AR-15 rifles at a Texas school (21 dead), a supermarket frequented by African Americans (10 dead) and a National Day parade (7 dead) have recently renewed calls for ban them.
After the bloodbath in the Uvalde school, Joe Biden implored Congress to, at a minimum, raise the ; legal age to buy them.
On Friday, the White House reiterated its support for a measure that would save lives.
As many as 40,000 Americans die each year from gunshot wounds, and guns have become the number one killer of children in the United States, she said in a statement.
So far, the Republicans are united against this measure which they perceive as a violation of the second amendment of the Constitution on the right to bear arms.
In a hurry to act, they just a agree to support a very modest law that strengthens the means to seize the weapons of violent spouses, and increases the means for mental health and school safety.