Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs has announced his retirement amid backlash he received for supporting a Democratic-led effort in Congress to pass controversial gun control measures.
Jacobs, who represents New York’s 27th congressional district, announced he would no longer be seeking re-election after he threw his support behind efforts in Congress to ban assault weapons on the federal level.
“The last thing we need is an incredibly negative, half-truth-filled media attack funded by millions of dollars of special interest money coming into our community around this issue of guns and gun violence and gun control,” he said in an impromptu press conference.
Congressman Chris Jacobs @RepJacobs just announced he will not run for election in NY-23 after losing support from Republicans and Conservatives for making remarks a week ago in support of a federal assault weapons ban. pic.twitter.com/R0PbCT2jfL
— Ryan Whalen (@RyanWhalenCT) June 3, 2022
Democratic lawmakers are looking to pass tighter restrictions on gun purchases following shooting incidents in recent weeks, including a deadly shooting at a Texas elementary school and a New York supermarket.
President Joe Biden has also urged Congress to take action.
“I want to be completely transparent of where I am in Congress. If an assault weapons ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it,” Jacobs said Friday, Spectrum News 1 reported.
— Ryan Whalen (@RyanWhalenCT) May 27, 2022
The anti-gun stance was met with almost immediate backlash from his supporters, prompting him to announce he would be leaving office.
New York State Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar welcomed the retirement.
“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,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.