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Volunteer Stories

Our volunteers stopped dozens of bad gun bills in 2022 so far 

Passing a new gun safety law is thrilling. It’s cause for celebration for every person in our movement—the volunteers who show up to statehouses and talk with community members, the online supporters who call and write their lawmakers, and the staff members who draft and review legislation, keep the media informed, and more. It’s a real team effort.

Yet there’s another type of gun safety victory that deserves our attention and celebration: when we stop dangerous gun bills from passing. Every year, in nearly every state, the gun lobby and their lawmaker allies try to weaken gun safety measures. They put forward bills designed to increase gun industry profits, even though it puts lives at risk—more than 110 people are shot and killed every day in the U.S. 

More states are vulnerable to these attacks as more lawmakers who are in the gun lobby’s pocket secure seats in statehouses. That’s why we’ve worked to make sure we have Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers in every single state, ready to stave them off. Moms are everywhere.

In 2022 alone, we’ve prevented dozens of gun lobby laws. Let’s look at a few of the states where we stopped all bad gun bills from passing:

Tennessee

Masked Tennessee Moms Demand Action volunteers pose for a photo in their red Moms Demand Action t-shirts

After many desperate attempts to push bad gun bills, lawmakers failed to pass even one of them. That’s thanks to our volunteers. They worked tirelessly to keep the state from lowering the age requirement for carrying a concealed, loaded handgun. And they stopped efforts to let some permit-holders carry firearms in all places at all times—something only law enforcement is allowed to do.

By the Numbers:

Tennessee

#32 in the country for gun law strength

Key Metrics

Gun Law Strength

Composite score

16.5

0 100

Gun Violence Rate

Gun deaths per 100k residents

21.3

0 National Average 30
Summary

Tennessee has recently begun weakening their already limited gun safety laws.

Kentucky

Kentucky Moms Demand Action volunteers pose for a photo wearing their red Moms Demand Action t-shirts and carrying a red Moms Demand Action banner

At the last minute, lawmakers quietly rammed a bad gun bill through the legislature. Volunteers took to Twitter to advocate against it, and Governor Beshear vetoed it. The legislature managed to override every single one of his vetoes—except for this one. When Moms are around, lawmakers don’t get away with sneaky behavior.

By the Numbers:

Kentucky

#40 in the country for gun law strength

Key Metrics

Gun Law Strength

Composite score

9

0 100

Gun Violence Rate

Gun deaths per 100k residents

20.1

0 National Average 30
Summary

Kentucky legislators are failing state residents by repealing the few gun safety laws that exist in the state.

South Dakota

Masked South Dakota Moms Demand Action volunteers pose for a photo

Volunteers stayed up for hours to testify against a reckless bill; it would have made it illegal for state law enforcement to stop gun traffickers or disarm domestic violence abusers who are federally prohibited from having a firearm. Once the session wrapped up, we beat this bill, plus a bill that would have required state and local government to only work with banks that support dangerous firearm manufacturers. The gun lobby finds creative ways to undermine gun safety, but we find the grit and savvy to beat them.

By the Numbers:

Gun Violence in South Dakota

#46 in the country for gun law strength

Key Metrics

Gun Law Strength

Composite score

5.5

0 100

Gun Violence Rate

Gun deaths per 100k residents

13.6

0 National Average 30
Summary

South Dakota has the fourth weakest gun laws in the country and experiences a rate of gun violence above the national average.

Idaho

Idaho Moms Demand Action volunteers pose for a photo and hold signs, wearing their red Moms Demand Action t-shirts

Volunteers hosted an Advocacy Day at the statehouse in February and met with a dozen lawmakers. They testified in hearings to make a strong case against weakening Idaho’s gun laws. By the end of session, we defeated three dangerous bills: one to let militias openly parade with firearms, one to make it a crime for local officials to enforce gun safety measures, and one to expand the state’s Shoot First law and essentially make murder legal.

By the Numbers:

Idaho

#49 in the country for gun law strength

Key Metrics

Gun Law Strength

Composite score

5

0 100

Gun Violence Rate

Gun deaths per 100k residents

17.6

0 National Average 30
Summary

Idaho lacks foundational gun safety laws and has the 17th highest rate of gun deaths in the country.


Red shirts are hard to ignore. When we exert pressure and show the strength of our movement, we make a big impact. 

We’re always thinking ahead to how wins this year can set us up for success in 2023 and beyond. When we weaken the gun lobby’s hand by defeating their bills, we make it possible to fight for common-sense gun safety measures—like secure firearm storage laws, Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, and funding for violence intervention and prevention. These are all key to reducing gun deaths.

In order to keep going, we’ve got to celebrate the wins. It’s not just nice. It’s needed. Showing up to statehouses, building relationships with lawmakers, facing our adversaries, and bringing friends, family, and neighbors into the movement—it’s challenging. To get up to do it again tomorrow, and next year, we’ve got to reward the work and the wins. So before we roll up our sleeves, let’s have a round of applause.

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