By Morgan Reddekopp, Burnsville Patch – June 9, 2022
MINNESOTA — U.S. Rep. Angie Craig voted Wednesday to help pass the Protecting Our Kids Act, a bill that would make several major changes to gun laws in America.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) introduced the bill May 31, one week after an 18-year-old man shot and killed 19 students and two teachers and wounded 17 others at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“Our children & our neighbors are counting on us to have the courage to fight for common sense gun safety reforms. Doing nothing is not an option,” she tweeted, sharing an article about the bill.
Craig also tweeted about red flag laws and said she was proud to vote in support of the Protecting Our Kids Act.
That massacre occurred 10 days after 10 people were killed and three others were injured during a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
The 18-year-old man arrested after that shooting faces 10 charges of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, and three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime, CNN reported. Police allege the white man targeted the supermarket because it’s in a predominantly Black community, according to the report.
Provisions of the Protecting Our Kids Act include raising the age to buy a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21; banning the import, sale, manufacture, transfer and possession of large-capacity magazines; regulating bump stocks; and establishing new crimes for gun trafficking and related conduct.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Our Kids Act by a mostly party-line vote of 223-204. Only two Democrats in the House voted against the bill, while just five Republicans supported it. Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation voted strictly along party lines.
The vote came after federal lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday from victims of recent mass shootings and their families.
Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo told a House committee she covered herself in a dead classmate’s blood so she wouldn’t be shot during the attack at her elementary school in Uvalde last month, PBS NewsHour reported.
Uvalde parents Kimberly and Felix Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was killed May 24, told lawmakers they support a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, as well as red-flag laws, which allow courts to order the temporary removal of firearms from someone who could be a danger to themselves or others, the report states.
Zeneta Everhart testified Wednesday about the injuries her son, Zaire Goodman, suffered when he was shot several times during the attack in Buffalo, PBS NewsHour reported. Zaire survived the mass shooting, but “shrapnel will be left inside his body for the rest of his life,” she said, according to the report.
Firearm-related injuries caused more deaths among U.S. children and adolescents in 2020 than any other cause, including motor vehicle crashes, drug overdoses and poisoning, and drowning, according to The New England Journal of Medicine.
The Star Tribune reported the Protecting Our Kids Act “has almost no chance of becoming law,” with the Senate focusing its response to the massacres on mental health, school security and background checks.