One Week After Supporting AR-15 Ban, Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs Announces He Won’t Run For Re-Election

Screenshot via Twitter/RyanWhalenCT

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Just one week after announcing he would support banning AR-15s and other “assault weapons,” Republican New York Rep. Chris Jacobs announced that he would not run for re-election.

Jacobs, a first-term congressman, said May 27 that he would vote for “an assault weapons ban bill… that would ban something like an AR-15.” His promise was widely criticized by conservatives, including Donald Trump Jr. Several New York elected officials publicly considered challenging him in a primary, while others noted that “assault weapon” is not a category of firearm, and that the AR-15 is one of the most sporting rifles on the market.

“I truly believe I could win this election, but it would be an incredibly divisive election for both the Republican Party and the 23rd District, many of whom I have not ever represented. 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,” Jacobs said at a press conference.

The National Rifle Association had endorsed Jacobs in 2020, citing his previous opposition to red flag laws and New York’s ban on magazines that carry more than seven rounds.

Jacobs currently represents the 27th District, which runs along New York’s northwestern border with Canada from the suburbs of Buffalo to Rochester. He was moved to the 23rd as a result of redistricting. (RELATED: Judge Throws Out New York Dems’ Dream Redistricting Map)

Jacobs is the 48th member of the House of Representatives to decline to run for re-election in November, and the 17th Republican. Nine other members have resigned before finishing out their terms, including two members of New York’s delegation, Republican Tom Reed and Democrat Antonio Delgado.

Before entering Congress, Jacobs served as a New York State Senator and in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during the George H.W. Bush administration.