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Rep. Chris Jacobs ends re-election bid after backlash over gun stance

June 3 (UPI) -- Rep. Chris Jacobs announced Friday he will not seek re-election after backlash from fellow Republicans for expressing support of gun control measures in the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas.

Jacobs, whose district includes suburban Buffalo, stunned his colleagues in the U.S. House last Friday when he said he would support banning access to semiautomatic rifles like AR-15s, raising age limits to purchase firearms to 21 years old and restricting magazine capacity.

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"No constitutional right is unlimited," Jacobs said at the time, adding that he would introduce a bill that would restrict who can purchase body armor.

Jacobs, who served as Erie County clerk, clarified Friday that he supports the Second Amendment and noted that he had issued thousands of gun permits in his previous role.

RELATED Texas state senator: Incident commander didn't have radio during Uvalde shooting

"Last Friday, I made remarks before the press regarding my support of some gun control measures," Jacobs said during a press conference.

"Since that time, every Republican elected official that endorsed me withdrew their endorsement as did many Republican committees."

Jacobs added that the state Republican Party and other conservatives have also since circulated petitions to primary against him.

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"Despite the backlash, I truly believe I could win this election but it would be an incredibly divisive election for both the Republican Party and the people of the 23rd District," Jacobs said.

"The last thing we need is an incredibly negative, half-truth-filled media attack funded by millions of dollars of special interests money coming into our community around this issue of guns, gun violence and gun control."

Jacobs added that the United States has a problem "in terms of both our major parties" when it comes to topics including gun control and abortion.

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"If you stray from a party position, you are annihilated," Jacobs said.

He added: "Look, if you're not going to take a stand on something like this, I don't know what you're going to take a stand on."

Jacobs' campaign website has expressed that he "stands with President [Donald] Trump" in securing the U.S.-Mexico border with a wall and most firm Republican positions.

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