Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Gun control group Everytown to spend $1.25 million on competitive state legislatures

Gun control activists chant at a protest.
Protesters at a rally hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety plans to roll out $1.25 million for digital ad campaigns in five states where control of the legislatures is at play this year, Everytown first told Axios.

Why it matters: The group has committed to spending a total of $60 million on 2020 elections. This newest campaign will focus on pressuring competitive state legislatures, including in Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, to move forward on gun safety legislation.

Between the lines: Everytown, which was cofounded by now-presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, spent $2.5 million to help flip the Virginia General Assembly and promoted pro-gun safety candidates last year — outspending the NRA.

  • The commonwealth's now Democratic majority has swiftly passed a slew of gun control measures, including universal background checks on gun purchases.
  • The new 2020 campaign ads will tell state lawmakers that they are "ON NOTICE" with a message to pass gun reform measures.

"Listen to the public and pass meaningful gun safety laws, or bear the brunt of a targeted campaign to hold you accountable for your inaction in 2020," Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement.

  • "The outcome of Virginia's 2019 election should be a lesson to all lawmakers."

By the numbers: Just over half of likely voters Everytown polled in the five targeted states said they supported stronger gun laws, with 82% of those gun control supporters saying the issue was "very important" to their 2020 vote. Just 10% said they wanted more relaxed gun laws.

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