Rep. Chris Jacobs, R-N.Y., said Friday that he would vote to ban AR-15 assault rifles if a bill came to the floor of the House.
“I want to be completely transparent where I am in Congress,” Jacobs said during a press conference Friday posted on Twitter by WNY political reporter Ryan Whalen. “If an assault weapon ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it.”
Jacobs was elected to office in July 2020 representing the 27th District upstate near Buffalo, N.Y., where a gunman killed 10 people and injured three others at a Tops supermarket last week.
His comments come following another mass shooting Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two teachers while injuring 17 others.
Jacobs said he could also support limiting the number of rounds in a magazine to 10 instead of 30 to 50 and possibly raising the age to purchase a gun to 21.
“Why does a civilian need a 30- or 50-round magazine, either for recreation or hunting? I believe something along the lines of 10 is perfectly reasonable,” Spectrum 1 News reported he said. “Individuals cannot buy beer, they cannot get cigarettes [until they’re] 21. I think it’s perfectly reasonable that the age limit, at least for these highly lethal, high capacity, semiautomatic weapons, should be 21.”
He also said he is writing a bill that would ban civilians from buying body armor.
Whalen posted on Twitter that Jacobs, who represents a solidly red, rural, area of the state, said he is worried about reelection by taking such a stance.
While he may be concerned about his own political prospects for taking such a stand against the party line, Jacobs said that even Democrats in the House seem to lack the “political will” to bring such a measure as an assault weapons ban to the floor.
“If you noticed, the Democrats have not brought such a bill to the floor,” he said. “There is not the political will on the Democratic side for that.”
The gap between Jacobs and other Republican members of Congress on the issue may be closing in the wake of the latest killings.
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met with fellow Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and reportedly encouraged him to meet with Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to see if the sides could find middle ground to try and work out a deal, CNN reported.
“I met with Sen. Cornyn this morning. As you know, he went home yesterday to see the family members and begin the fact finding of this awful massacre. And I have encouraged him to talk with Sen. Murphy and Sen. Sinema and others who are interested in trying to get an outcome that is directly related to the problem,” he told CNN Thursday. “I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution.”