Rep. Eric Swalwell’s Anti-Gun Focus Earns Him an Early Exit from the 2020 Democratic Race

Rep. Swalwell just became the first Democratic candidate to drop out of the race. (Photo: Rep. Eric Swalwell Facebook)

When debate moderator Chuck Todd asked the Democratic candidates which issue they’d tackle first as president, only one candidate named gun control as his top priority. That candidate, California Rep. Eric “Nuke ‘Em!” Swalwell, has now become the first person to drop out of the 2020 race.

“After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination,” Swalwell said in a statement.

Still, he doesn’t believe his efforts were all for naught. He bragged that three “top-tier” Democratic candidates have embraced “my idea” to ban and buy back every single “assault weapon” in the United States.

“Putting this idea and the larger issue of gun violence front and center in the Democratic policy discussion is an accomplishment, dedicated to the students, moms, and other activists who tirelessly demand action to save American lives,” he said.

Swalwell tried to differentiate himself from the crowded race by making radical gun control his signature policy issue. His impossibly long list of gun control proposals included gun confiscation, a mandatory 48-hour waiting period, universal background checks, national gun licensing, and limits on ammunition purchases to 200 rounds per month.

Swalwell claimed throughout his campaign that majorities of Americans—including gun owners and NRA members—supported his agenda. Last week he posted a video on Twitter touting the common ground he found between himself, Shannon Watts, and gun owners, claiming that America needs a president that will “ride the momentum” of support for gun control in the United States.

SEE ALSO: Swalwell’s Rally Falls Flat as He Announces Most Draconian Gun-Ban Proposal of All 2020 Candidates

That momentum turned out to be more of a ripple than a tidal wave. Swalwell never garnered more than “0%” of the potential vote, lower than the “someone else” or “other” option included in most data (1-2%).  

Still, while Swalwell likely cannot claim credit for the shift, it is true that top-tier Democratic presidential candidates are pushing for policies that would have been unpalatable a decade ago. Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), for example, who is now rivaling Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) for second place in the race, has vowed to use executive action to implement near-universal background checks, close the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” and prohibit people with arrest warrants from buying guns.

Her campaign has also expressed support for banning “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines.

Though not a top-tier candidate in terms of polling, Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) remains in the race and has, like Swalwell, voiced support for a nationalized gun licensing scheme and universal background checks.

To his credit, Swalwell’s anti-gun focus began long before he entered the crowded 2020 field. In November of 2018, the Golden State rep. made headlines when he threatened to nuke gun owners who refused to comply with his gun buyback program.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Markus Karlie August 5, 2019, 12:55 am

    Snailbrain, why hasn’t it occurred to you that guns owned by people like us are a threat to bad guys, not to our families or neighbors or local authorities? Go into the criminals dens and “buy back” their guns if you think that will help. But don’t even consider coming after ours.

  • Mark R August 2, 2019, 9:22 am

    Hey Snailwall…with all the idiocy in this country going on, giving up our rights to own weapons in order to effectively defend life and liberty at this point in our history, is rivaled only by our need to defy the Tyranny of Britain in 1776. Probably more so, as the Brits at least exhibited common sense.

  • Andrew N. July 26, 2019, 10:07 pm

    Stupid is as stupid does. Enough said. Idiot.

  • Ted July 15, 2019, 6:54 pm

    Glad to see another commie bite the dust!! Good ridence ….

  • Nobody July 15, 2019, 2:55 pm

    “Suck on this, I will not comply…”

  • Chad July 13, 2019, 6:43 am

    So long douche take the other 30 dipshits with you !!!

  • Gregg E Edwards July 12, 2019, 6:51 pm

    one flaming idiot down.

  • JG July 12, 2019, 6:22 pm

    Swalwell is a typical politician…..another opportunistic idiot. I support the idea of making mandatory an IQ test, a college-level civics test, and a US History test for anyone running for higher state and federal offices. We absolutely have to get rid of morons in Congress…….

  • Michael July 12, 2019, 4:04 pm

    Loved the comment. Just too funny. I’ll be chuckling about that one all day. Thanks. USMC RVN

  • Norm Fishler July 12, 2019, 1:44 pm

    Such love and compassion! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • C. Aldridge July 12, 2019, 1:23 pm

    More like 20.

  • Michael Gothard July 12, 2019, 11:38 am

    You should never try to discuss a topic that you have no knowledge about. The “assault weapon” comment immediately discredits anything he says. Not to mention the fact that he implies he would use nukes on the civilian population if they didn’t surrender their guns. I guess all democrats were dropped on their head as an infant.

  • Kane July 12, 2019, 11:31 am

    How much ca$h did he raise?

    Does this mean that the Dems will NOT try to use nuclear weapons on gunowners?

  • Rangemaster11B July 12, 2019, 11:30 am

    Swallowswell was always an asterisk on this election. I hope he collected enough donations to pay off his student loans.

  • Gus July 12, 2019, 10:15 am

    1 idiot down about a dozen to go.

  • Dan July 12, 2019, 7:44 am

    One more deranged nut case off the presidential list, but he will still be running for state offices in his nut state of CA. Apparently there are enough nut cases there to get him elected there.
    This insane statement alone proves his mental illness, and insanity.
    “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 16, 2018

    We obviously need to require mental illness exams and tests to run for any political office, so we can eliminate insane nut cases like this from running for political positions.

  • Retnavet July 12, 2019, 6:15 am

    If my name was “Swallowswell” I’d keep as low a profile as possible

  • Jesse Scott July 12, 2019, 5:20 am

    One extremist out of way, whose next

  • SuperG July 10, 2019, 10:35 am

    Swalwell had no intention of seriously running for President. He just wanted his name to be known for his run for Governor. He saw how Harris’ hoplophobia earned her a cushy job, so he mimicked her.

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