This week, Republicans were dealt a crushing blow when H.R.8 was passed. The bill, as Florida Rep. Brian Mast (R) called it, is “a political game” that both sides of the aisle play on in Washington. The measure would “force private businesses to facilitate expanded gun control restrictions” and “jeopardize the privacy of gun owners.”
The bill passed with some Republican support, and now some Florida politicos are questioning whether or not this could spell trouble for those Republicans who voted in favor of it and possibly face primary challenges when they’re up for reelection.
In a final vote, the bill passed with a 227 to 203 vote. One Democrat voted against the bill, and eight Republicans voted for it. Of the eight that voted in favor of the bill, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Florida Reps. Carlos Gimenez and Ana Maria Salazar are names that stand out because of their relationship with President Donald Trump (R).
During his speech at CPAC, many expected President Trump to possibly announce a 2024 run at the presidency, but he remained largely mum on the subject. However, he did mention that he would be active in upcoming elections. Afterward, he noted that he would be campaigning against Republicans that were not pro-Trump, which includes Alaska lawmaker Lisa Murkowski (R). Kinzinger voted to impeach President Trump, and he’s expected to be “primaried” by a pro-Trump candidate. This likelihood has only been exacerbated by his most recent vote for H.R.8.
“The vast majority of Americans believe in universal background checks,” he expressed in a Tweet delivered to his followers this week. He added that “as a gun owner myself, I firmly support the Second Amendment but I also believe we have to be willing to make some changes for the greater good.”
Both Gimenez and Salazar turned their respective districts red in the 2020 election, and they are currently serving their first term in the House. Judging by the growing number of support for Trump in the state of Florida, the freshman lawmakers could be receiving primary opponents in their respective reelection campaigns.