Republican New York Rep. Chris Jacobs has announced that he will not be running for re-election after supporting a ban on “assault weapons.”
Rep. Jacobs was previously endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
On Friday, Rep. Jacobs said during a press conference that if a bill to ban AR-15-style weapons comes to a vote — he will vote in favor.
“If an assault weapons ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it,” he said. “So I want to be clear: I would vote for it.”
He also said during an interview with the Buffalo News that he would support raising the age to purchase guns to 21, placing a federal limit on guns’ magazine capacity, and banning the sale of body armor to civilians.
His change of heart, he claims, was because of the recent mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo.
“I hope I’ve been compassionate when I read and heard about previous incidents like this that have happened over the years, but I guess there’s just something markedly different when it happens in your city, to people you know,” said Jacobs. “This has been a profoundly impactful event for me.”
Rep. Jacobs also cited the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“Being a father and having young children and visualizing what those parents are going through and, I guess, being able to feel it more personally certainly has had an impact as well,” Jacobs added.
The congressman also announced that he will not be running for re-election.
“Today I am announcing that I will not run for the 23rd Congressional District. I will finish out my time … [as] a member of Congress to the end of the year,” Jacobs said in his announcement on Friday.
According to a report from The Hill, “Jacobs received an endorsement from the National Rifle Association during his 2020 congressional run, at the time saying he was honored to receive the endorsement and vowing to serve as an ‘ally and fighter’ for gun owners in western New York.”
“Republican” Rep. Adam Kinzinger has also announced that he will support a gun ban and is not running for re-election.