Campaign

Tim Ryan hits JD Vance in new ad for proposal to abolish ATF

Left: Greg Nash | Right: AP Photos

Rep. Tim Ryan, the Ohio Democratic nominee for Senate, released an ad on Wednesday criticizing J.D. Vance, his Republican opponent, for his call to abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

In the ad, Stark County Sheriff George Maier says Vance’s plan to push for the elimination of an agency that “combats violent drug traffickers” makes his job more difficult. The ad cites comments and a tweet Vance made in February attacking the ATF for having a database on certain records of gun sales. 

“Joe Biden’s ATF is illegally collecting information on the gun transactions of millions of law-abiding citizens & putting them into a digital database. As Senator, I’ll not only lead the fight against Biden’s unconstitutional gun database, I’ll fight to ABOLISH the ATF,” Vance tweeted at the time.

The fact-checking website PolitiFact reported that Vance’s claim that the ATF was breaking the law in tracking and managing records of gun sales was false.

Maier also attacked Vance for “calling law enforcement corrupt.” The ad does not refer to a specific incident, but Vance accused the FBI of illegally wiretapping former President Trump’s phone and said “we are living in an incredibly corrupt country” at a rally in April. 

“Tim Ryan knows defunding the police is ridiculous,” Maier said.

Maier said Ryan has brought $467 million to Ohio to put “good cops on the street,” adding that he trusts Ryan to keep the community “safe.”

Ryan has in the past been critical of the criminal justice system, saying in 2019 that he believes it is “racist” and “the new Jim Crow.”

Vance retweeted a post from a reporter for The Daily Caller on Wednesday that mentioned Ryan’s ad and showed a video of his comment in 2019. Vance called on Ryan to respond to the video.

Vance spokeswoman Taylor Van Kirk told The Hill that Ryan has repeatedly shown he will say and do “anything” to get elected. She said he called the police racist and refused to denounce calls to defund them while running for president.

“He’s a career politician who will have to find a new line of work come November,” Van Kirk said.

Ryan also released a second ad on Wednesday highlighting his roots in the state, where he grew up in Youngstown, a city in northeastern Ohio. He emphasized that he voted against a trade deal that former President Obama backed, seemingly referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, because he believed it would cost jobs in Ohio. 

He added that he voted with Trump on trade, supporting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

“I don’t answer to any political party,” Ryan said. “I answer to the folks I grew up with and the families like yours all across Ohio.”

Updated at 7:12 p.m.

Tags 2022 midterm elections 2022 midterms ATF ATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives FBI J.D. Vance JD Vance Joe Biden Obama Ohio Senate race Ohio Senate Race Tim Ryan Tim Ryan Tim Ryan Trump
See all Hill.TV See all Video