PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The House passed a wide-ranging gun control bill Wednesday in response to recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds.
The legislation passed by a mostly party-line vote of 223-204. It has almost no chance of becoming law as the Senate pursues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks. But the House bill does allow Democratic lawmakers a chance to frame for voters in November where they stand on policies that polls show are widely supported.
Pennsylvania Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick went against the majority in the Republican Party and voted in favor of the legislation.
"We shouldn't have to wait for tragedies to happen to respond," said Fitzpatrick.
The push comes after a House committee heard wrenching testimony from recent shooting victims and family members, including from 11-year-old girl Miah Cerrillo, who covered herself with a dead classmate's blood to avoid being shot at the Uvalde elementary school.
SEE ALSO: House passes sweeping gun reform after Buffalo, Uvalde mass shootings
The seemingly never-ending cycle of mass shootings in the United States has rarely stirred Congress to act. But the shooting of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde has revived efforts in a way that has lawmakers from both parties talking about the need to respond.
Americans are calling on elected leaders to come together and act.
Fitzpatrick is calling out both parties saying, "My colleagues on the right, some think that there is no legislative fix that will do any good. I reject that idea. Some of my colleagues on the left think that 100% of the problem can be fixed through legislation. That is incorrect."
Fitzpatrick is one of a few Republicans who broke party lines and voted across the board for the overall package and each provision.
"You get a lot of blowback on votes like this for sure. But it's the right thing to do. We have no greater obligation, not just as elected officials, but as human beings than to take care of our kids," he said.
New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew voted no across the board.
Congressman Chris Smith, also from New Jersey, voted for some measures, including banning bump stocks, regulating ghost guns and raising the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, but voted no on the rest, including the overall passage of the bills.
Fitzpatrick says, "A lot of these shootings follow a common pattern: young men under the age of 21 using assault-style rifles. There is some evidence of a history of mental health issues or worse or animal abuse, there are always signals. Why raise the age? I think that it makes sense that if you set the age of 21 to purchase a handgun, why not have that same age requirement for a long gun that can cause more devastation in a much quicker period of time?"
Action News asked Fitzpatrick if it is hard to go against the grain. He says, "I think the genesis is this: if you take the perspective of any elected office that you are a temporary occupant of that office, it's not yours, it's not your office, it's not your title, it's on loan for a short time. I think if that's your perspective, a lot of these votes come easier."
This bill is virtually dead on arrival in the Senate, but a bipartisan group of senators have been working on legislation of their own.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.