Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) has been in Congress since 1987. While she’s not retiring altogether, she is stepping down from her position of leadership. It is welcome news that such a staunch opponent of the Second Amendment is stepping down, but what of her successor?
The California congresswoman ascended to the position of leadership in 2003. She has also twice been Speaker of the House, having served under four different presidents.
Pelosi has been around long enough that she voted in favor of the improperly named Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, saw it sunset a decade later, and recently tried to resurrect such a ban—something President Joe Biden (D) is also keen on doing.
Pelosi’s predecessor, Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), was not friendly toward your right to keep and bear arms, yet, somehow, Pelosi was worse. “Even though Gephardt has a very bad record when it comes to the Second Amendment, Pelosi’s is worse,” wrote the NRA Institute for Legislative Action at the time. She was even noted to be “one of the most rabidly anti-gun lawmakers,” too.
It is certainly good news that she is stepping down, given her decades-long animus toward the right to keep and bear arms, but following her is Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Just as Pelosi was more extreme than her predecessor, time will tell if Jeffries is just like Pelosi or worse. Here are some things to know about the incoming minority leader.
At a spry 52 years old, Jeffries is actually one of the younger members of Congress. He has represented New York’s 8th district since 2013. Before that, he served at the state level and, throughout it all, he has espoused some very anti-Second Amendment views.
“In Congress, Hakeem has been a leader on gun violence prevention legislation, pushing for commonsense measures like universal background checks for firearm purchases and a ban on assault weapons,” reads his campaign website, which also touts his efforts to pass a gun-control bill earlier this year.
Jeffries has referred to firearms ownership as a public-health crisis—an “epidemic,” as he has repeatedly put it—and, as noted, sought to ban many commonly owned firearms.
In 2008, he said that he does not believe law-abiding Americans should be able to carry concealed. And, predictably, just as Pelosi went after the NRA, so has Jeffries, repeatedly. “Let’s. Be. Clear. The NRA is NOT WELCOME in Brooklyn. Keep it Moving,” tweeted the congressman in 2018.
While Rep. Pelosi has recently said she will “always have influence” over House Democrats, it remains to be seen how much. With that said, under Jeffries, it’s safe to expect more of the same, if not worse.