ROUNDUP: Vance Was “More Moderate” On Gun Violence Prevention Before Running For Office, Now Opposes Bipartisan Gun Violence Prevention Deal

For Immediate Release:
June 16, 202

Columbus, OH — Before he ran for U.S. Senate, J.D. Vance touted his support for gun violence prevention measures including red flag laws, like the ones incentivized by the Senate’s bipartisan gun safety framework. But now Vance has reinvented himself (yet again!) and opposes this bipartisan deal championed by Senator Rob Portman that would be a historic breakthrough to keep Americans safe.

During a March 2018 Darke County Republican Party dinner, Vance said, “We should make it easier to take those guns out of the hands of people who are about to use them to murder large numbers of people.” As notes, “Vance, who previously positioned himself publicly as somewhat more moderate, including on gun-related issues, largely has taken a harder-right turn since running for U.S. Senate this year.” Now Vance is at odds with Portman, the U.S. Senator he is vying to replace.

“It must be exhausting for J.D. Vance to keep track of his endless string of hypocritical and transparently political reversals on every issue imaginable,” said Michael Beyer, a spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.

Read more below: Republican Senate hopeful J.D. Vance opposes bipartisan deal on gun control, unlike Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan
Andrew Tobias
June 15, 2022

  • The Republican and Democratic candidates running to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate differ when it comes to the tentative gun-control deal announced this week by Republican and Democratic senators.

  • During an interview with a right-wing radio host on Tuesday, J.D. Vance, a Republican writer and investor, said he wouldn’t vote for the bill, whose supporters include Sen. Rob Portman, the retiring Republican Vance is running to replace.

  • Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, in a tweet shortly after the bill was announced, heralded it as “a historic first step.”

  • The difference on the proposal not only highlights the contrast between Vance and Ryan, but is another example of the contrast between Vance and Portman. Vance, who previously positioned himself publicly as somewhat more moderate, including on gun-related issues, largely has taken a harder-right turn since running for U.S. Senate this year.

  • In a Tuesday appearance on the Breitbart News Daily podcast, Vance singled out for criticism the provisions described in the bill that would help states set up “red flag” laws that give courts the ability to seize guns from people deemed to be an imminent threat to public safety.

  • “I think that the big issue here is that we’re we’re talking about giving a massive amount of bureaucratic power to federal and state governments after two years of basically seeing people abuse that power in a different domain,” Vance said. “So I think this is a bad idea. I would not support the legislation.”

  • Vance also questioned whether limiting access to guns would have any effect at all on gun violence, which he said was tied to “inner-city urban crime,” and which he said until recently dropped generally over decades during a time when guns became more widely available.

  • “None of us like the school shootings. None of us likes the fact that if you live near a big city, you hear about gun violence nearly every week. So we have to not take the left’s bait and say, ‘Well, this is going to make us safer at the expense of our Second Amendment rights.’ I don’t think it’s going to do either,” Vance said.

  • Ryan hasn’t commented as extensively on the gun-control deal, but in a tweet on Sunday shortly after the deal was announced said: “While we still have more details to learn, this bipartisan agreement is a historic step forward in protecting our kids and keeping our communities safe from gun violence. It’s also a testament to what’s possible when we set aside our partisan differences. Now let’s get it done.”

  • Earlier in his congressional career, Ryan frequently was described as a pro-Second Amendment Democrat. But he’s become more supportive of restrictions on guns in recent years, expressing support for measures beyond what’s in the Senate deal, like requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, banning the sale of assault weapons and banning high-capacity magazines.

  • In general terms, the bipartisan Senate bill would enhance background checks for buyers under age 21 and provide major funding to help states pass and implement crisis intervention orders known as red flag laws that allow law enforcement to temporarily remove weapons from people who pose a danger to themselves or others.

  • It would increase penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchasing, and expand the current prohibition on domestic abusers getting guns to include romantic partners. It would also expand community mental health services for children and families and provide money for school violence prevention efforts, training and the implementation of safety measures at primary and secondary schools.

  • The gun compromise has not yet been introduced in the Senate, much less voted on. But 10 Republican senators, including Portman, have announced their support for the idea in general terms, giving it the GOP support it would need to clear a filibuster in the Senate.

Ohio Capital Journal: JD Vance voices opposition to Senate gun reform framework
Nick Evans
June 16, 2022

  • In Washington, a bipartisan group of Senators appears to be on the cusp of a gun reform deal. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has even given his blessing to the framework, but a bit closer to home, Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee J.D. Vance says he wouldn’t vote for it.

  • “From what I’ve seen of this bill, I would not support it,” Vance said Wednesday on a Breitbart radio show. “I think the red flag laws, in particular, they certainly are a slippery slope. They also don’t solve the problem of gun violence.”

  • The legislation itself has yet to be released, but Senate negotiators say they have an agreement in principle. That agreement includes resources to support states in administering their own red flag provisions, but it wouldn’t impose a federal program. The deal also includes enhanced background checks for gun buyer younger than 21 and enhanced penalties for straw purchasers.

  • Vance conceded that the U.S. has a “high gun violence rate,” but pinned the problem on what he termed urban inner-city crime. He argued violence has been coming down for the last 30 years despite guns being more available.

  • “So, in some ways it’s not even accurate to call it a gun violence problem,” Vance said. “It is a violence problem that has gotten worse over the last few years, not because of more guns, but because of negative law enforcement.”

  • Building on data from the CDC and the FBI, the Pew Research Center notes that although gun murders and suicides have climbed sharply in recent years, the rates for both remain below their peak. The share of those incidents that involve a gun, however, did peak in 2020.

  • Vance’s opponent this November, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-OH, took to Twitter to voice support for what he called a “historic step forward” on reducing gun violence. As he has throughout the Senate campaign Ryan also made a play for middle of the road voters.

  • “It’s also a testament to what’s possible when we set aside our partisan differences.” He said of the deal. “Now let’s get it done.”