The House passed the Protecting Our Kids Act on Wednesday, hours after hearing harrowing testimony from gun violence survivors and their families, and two weeks after a shooter killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The House bill is wide reaching: It would raise the minimum age to buy some semi-automatic weapons to 21, strengthen bump stock and “ghost gun” regulations, ban high-capacity magazines, and give local governments power to start high-capacity magazine buyback programs, CNN reports. The changes are unlikely to make it past a Senate vote.
The federal legislation follows a push for gun control at the state level. Last week, New York passed a bill raising the age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21 and expanding red flag laws, CNN also reports. Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called for laws that make gun manufacturers vulnerable to civil lawsuits, and California lawmakers pushed for stricter gun control.
What do these restrictions mean, and how effective would they be if passed? Here’s a primer on key gun terms, from Jack McDevitt, professor of the practice in criminology and criminal justice at Northeastern.