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Moms Demand Action volunteers hold up signs on Capitol Hill

2022 Year in Review Highlights

This year, gun violence continued to shatter families and communities as grocery stores, schools, nightclubs, workplaces, homes, and more became scenes of senseless shooting tragedies. Firearms continued to be the leading cause of death for children and teens. Yet the gun violence prevention movement said enough is enough and pushed for the most significant federal progress in a generation, passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in Congress to strengthen our federal gun laws.

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers passed more than four dozen gun safety laws in states including Colorado, Rhode Island, and Tennessee while defeating 95 percent of the gun lobby’s priority legislation in states including Alaska, Idaho, and Louisiana. We grew to nearly 10 million supporters to create the largest and most diverse coalition of gun violence prevention advocates in America.

And, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s dangerous ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, we immediately got to work, passing state laws that improve protections against the wrongheaded decision.

And those are just the toplines! Check out our year in review video and take a moment to join us in celebrating the volunteers and supporters that made this all possible.

Watch Our Year in Review Video

In 2022, we rose to meet challenges and tragedy with courage and unity, and we’ll continue fighting to save lives for decades to come. Check out the top eight things we accomplished this year:

Taking Historic Federal Action in the Wake of Tragedy

After the tragic shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas this summer, Everytown’s grassroots networks—Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action—refused to accept hollow thoughts and prayers and continued inaction from Congress. Together with gun violence survivors, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers united to send a clear, urgent message to senators: Don’t look away.

Two days after the shooting in Uvalde, Students Demand Action volunteers organized more than 200 school walkouts across the country to demand the Senate act on gun safety, and we centered this issue in the public consciousness by holding more than 350 events across all 50 states for National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. And to keep the pressure on, Everytown also launched a $400,000 ad campaign targeting key U.S. senators urging them to take action. We drove more than one million calls and messages to the Senate, refusing to let lawmakers off the hook.

Students standing at the Capitol wearing red Students Demand Action t-shirts and black bulletproof vests

Our efforts culminated in the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first major piece of federal gun safety legislation to become law in nearly 30 years. The bill is a historic victory for the gun violence prevention movement, and Everytown experts played a key role in advising senators in its drafting, negotiation, and passage behind the scenes. Among other key points, the new law:

  • Establishes enhanced background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21
  • Provides $750 million in much-needed funding to support crisis intervention services and the implementation of state Red Flag laws
  • Disarms domestic abusers by preventing those who were convicted of abusing their dating partners from buying guns
  • Provides $250 million in dedicated funding for evidence-informed, community-based violence intervention programs, which have been proven to make a life-saving impact in communities most affected by gun violence

This historic federal victory would not have been possible without the work of Everytown’s nearly 10 million supporters, who made it clear that Americans would not accept anything short of major gun safety legislation in the wake of the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shooting tragedies.

Proving Gun Safety is a Winning Issue

Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action went all in this election cycle, breaking new ground in messaging, spending, and get out the vote efforts. And exit poll data confirmed fifty-six percent of 2022 voters supported stricter gun safety measures and gun safety consistently ranked among the top concerns for voters, proving gun safety is a winning issue.

This seismic political shift is in part due to the tireless work of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, who reached out to more than 6 million voters to elect Gun Sense Candidates at every level of government. It was a historic year for gun safety at the ballot box.

Want to learn more about our work in the 2022 elections? Read our elections highlight blog.

Flexing Our Grassroots Power

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have also become political powerhouses in their own right. A year after Everytown Victory Fund launched Demand a Seat, a program to recruit and train the next generation of gun sense candidates and campaign workers, a record number of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers launched campaigns for elected office.

More than 275 volunteers and gun violence survivors ran in the 2021-22 election cycle and 158 won their races. Even in our polarized political climate, these new Gun Sense Candidates weren’t afraid to take the leap and run: 41 percent of them were first-time candidates or challengers.

Young people are leading the fight for gun safety, and this year, Students Demand Action grew to include more than 550 groups across the country! In the wake of the tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo, Students Demand Action leaders staged hundreds of school walkouts, held rallies in Washington, and met face-to-face with lawmakers to make sure they couldn’t look away from our country’s gun violence epidemic. Through their tireless advocacy, innovative campaigns, and incredible get-out-the-vote efforts, Students Demand Action volunteers have proven time and again that they are the future of the gun violence prevention movement, and they’re making a historic impact today.

Supporting Survivors

The Everytown Survivor Network continued to offer trauma-informed programs to empower and support gun violence survivors and create peer-to-peer connections. The Network also welcomed 45 new survivor leaders as part of the 2022 Survivor Fellowship program, which equips survivors with the tools they need to educate new audiences about gun violence and builds a community of survivor advocates.

The Everytown Support Fund also allocated nearly $60,000 in grants to assist 501(c)(3) organizations that work to support gun violence survivors by offering services and elevating survivor voices in communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence.

Confirming the First ATF Director in Seven Years

For the last seven years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—which plays a key role in going after gun traffickers and ensuring gun laws are enforced—has lacked a Senate-confirmed director. The vacant seat had allowed rogue gun dealers to go unchecked.

In 2022, President Biden nominated Steve Dettelbach to lead the ATF. Dettelbach, who had decades of experience as a prosecutor, received strong support from Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and we drove over 900,000 calls and messages to senators in support of his confirmation. Just a few months into Dettelbach’s tenure, new ATF data shows the agency and the Biden-Harris Administration are holding rogue gun dealers accountable by cracking down on willful law violations.

Taking Life-Saving Action in the States

In 2022, state lawmakers and governors enacted more than 51 gun safety bills, invested $860 million in gun violence prevention and local violence intervention and prevention programs, and rejected dozens of extreme gun lobby-backed bills to weaken gun laws.

Tens of thousands of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers made this work possible through countless emails, phone calls, in-person and digital meetings, and advocacy days.

Check out the full list of gun safety bills enacted in states across the country in 2022.

Strengthening Community Efforts to Fight Gun Violence

In August, the Everytown Community Safety Fund awarded $1.5 million in funding to 15 community-based violence intervention organizations working in cities across the country.

These grantees include:

And in conjunction with the annual Wear Orange campaign, The Fund expanded its grant offerings to support place-based projects, issuing 10 grants of $10,000 to community-based violence intervention organizations and delivering 100 hours of technical assistance in partnership with LISC.

These grants support projects to reduce gun violence via Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) methods in collaboration with local chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action. Read more about how our grantees reduce gun violence and make their communities safer.

Conducting Groundbreaking Research

As advocates, journalists, and policymakers sought a clear analysis of America’s gun violence epidemic in 2022, Everytown Support Fund’s research provided important context and gun safety solutions. Everytown Support Fund researchers continued to be a leading force in providing and disseminating critical data and analysis, including by authoring reports and research on:

What’s Next

We are heading into the new year stronger than ever before. In 2023, we’ll build on our life-saving work and continue to champion innovative solutions and take meaningful action to address gun violence.

Our volunteers and gun violence survivors are active in every single state and are advocating for gun safety where they live, work and learn.

Moms Demand Action will celebrate 10 years of activism in 2023, honoring the milestone with tireless action including advocacy days at statehouses, community events and celebrations. We’ll continue to make our iconic red shirts ubiquitous wherever decisions about gun safety are made, and be tenacious, committed partners in the fight for gun safety.

We’ll also bolster our efforts to hold the gun industry accountable for its role in our nation’s gun violence epidemic through the legal system and the court of public opinion, shedding light on its dangerous business practices. And we’ll continue to work on the ground to support local gun violence prevention groups and community partners as we enter the next decade of this fight.

Together, we’ll continue to save lives—and nothing will stand in our way.

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