News & Politics

Former Republican Congressman David Jolly Says Only Democrats Can Be Trusted on Guns

The ex-representative called the U.S. a "broken nation" on gun issues.

Photo Credit: CNN

Former GOP Rep. David Jolly, who represented Florida’s 13th congressional district, tore into his own party Thursday over its historic inaction to mass shootings, telling CNN’s Don Lemon that “Republicans will never do anything on gun control.”

“We have a broken nation on the issue of guns,” Jolly said. “Let’s be brutally honest about what we do know. I say this as a Republican: Republicans will never do anything on gun control.”

Jolly noted last year that “you had Republican members of Congress shot and nearly killed after a softball practice”—yet the party still did nothing.

“The idea of gun policy in the Republican Party is to try to get the speaking slot at the NRA and prove that constituency that you’re further right,” Jolly said.

“If this is the issue that defines your ideology as a voter, there’s two things that I suggest tonight,” Jolly continued. “First, flip the House. Flip the House. Republicans are not going to do a single thing after this shooting today.”

Jolly also said Democrats can “work for incremental wins,” including universal background checks.

“Democrats should go to the law enforcement community and say, We’re going to leave the Republicans behind and let’s work on this together right now and get the will of the American people to be enacted in the United States Congress,” Jolly offered.

Lemon told the former Republican congressman, “If I was with you, I would hug you right now. Honestly.”

“Let me be honest,” Jolly replied. “I’m a conservative Second Amendment person who sponsored some pretty hardcore Second Amendment bills…I believe in Second Amendment issues, but I believe in background checks and reasonable restrictions—maybe even banning assault rifles.”

Watch the video below.

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.