GOP Rep. Jacobs Will Retire After Supporting ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban


New York Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs announced Friday afternoon that he would finish out the rest of his term and not run for reelection in what was considered to be a safe district after he came out in favor of the Democrat’s “assault weapons” ban.

On Friday afternoon, after the recent shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, Jacobs told a group of reporters that despite the backlash he had received, the congressman thought he could win reelection, but “It would be an incredibly divisive election for both the Republican party and the people of the twenty-third district.”

“The last thing we need is an incredibly negative, half truth-filled media attack, funded by millions of dollars by special interest money coming into our community, around this issue of guns, gun violence, and gun control,” he stated, which is why he will not seek a second term.

The move by Jacobs comes after he came out in favor of a federal “assault rifles” ban and received mountains of backlash from Republicans, party leaders, local gun-rights groups, and faced a potential primary challenger from the state party chairman.

Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, who recently launched a gun-rights group and has vowed to fight Democrat gun control proposals, hammered the “Republican,” as well.

“‘Republican’ @RepJacobs already caved to the gun-grabbers whose proposals won’t do a single thing to protect our families & children from criminals & murderers,” Trump Jr. tweeted. “He knows this but he can’t resist getting a few glowing headlines from the mainstream media.”

“The New York State Conservative Party thanks Congressman Chris Jacobs for his long service to the people of New York State,” said New York Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar in a statement shortly after Jacobs’ announcement. Kassar continued:

We were perplexed, however, by his recent stance on Second Amendment rights, a position well outside the mainstream of the Republican Party, the Conservative Party, and the voters of NY 23. We agree that it’s the best interest of all three — and of Congressman Jacobs himself — that he forgoes a run for reelection and returns to civilian life. We wish him only the best in his future endeavors.

Jacobs, endorsed by the National Rifle Association in 2020, was looking for a second term. Following the court-appointed redrawn redistricting maps, he was the favorite to win reelection in his congressional district. The redrawn maps added to his Western New York district some of the state’s more Republican areas that were not previously in the district.

However, by the time he made his announcement, local gun rights groups had already released his phone number on the Internet for people to call and complain, and party leaders pulled their support from him, according to the New York Times. Some political analysts have also claimed Jacobs would lose to a potential challenger just from embracing firearm restrictions.

The Times noted that the congressman announced that he backed a federal ban on “assault weapons” and did not consult any of his advisers. “After making his remarks, he conducted a poll that suggested he may still have had a path to re-election, though not an easy one.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.

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