In the Year Since the U.S. House Passed H.R. 8––A Bipartisan Bill to Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales––An Estimated 38,000+ Americans Have Been Killed by Guns. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has Failed to Even Bring it to the Floor for a Vote.
This Week, Everytown and Moms Demand Action Are Holding Sen. McConnell and his Colleagues Accountable for their Inaction and Demanding They Pass Lifesaving Background Checks Legislation.
WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action, unveiled a nationwide campaign to hold lawmakers accountable for one year of inaction on H.R. 8––a bipartisan and immensely popular bill to require background checks on all gun sales. The campaign is built around February 27, the one year anniversary of the day the U.S. House passed H.R. 8, and will run throughout next week. It will feature $300,000 in digital and print advertising targeting U.S.senators and representatives who have refused to support background checks on all gun sales, plus grassroots events in battleground states and student-led voter registration drives demanding that the senators pass lifesaving background check legislation.
“This life-saving legislation has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk, untouched, for a year,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “In that time, it’s estimated that more than 38,000 Americans have been killed by gun violence, and twice as many have been wounded. Yet McConnell has refused to act. So this week, we’re sending a message to McConnell and his gun lobby allies: If you don’t act, we’ll work to elect a gun sense Senate that will.”
The print and digital ads will target key lawmakers who have failed to support H.R. 8, including U.S. senators and representatives from AZ, CO, GA, IA, KY, NC, PA, and TX. The campaign will also feature grassroots rallies in several of those states, including one on the steps of Sen. McConnell’s Kentucky office, and voter registration drives led by Students Demand Action across the country.
The advertisements will include the following (all numbers approximate):
- In Arizona, $43,000 in digital ads and print ads in the Arizona Republic, targeting Senator Martha McSally;
- In Colorado, $26,000 in digital ads and print ads in the Denver Post, targeting Senator Cory Gardner;
- In Georgia, $45,000 in digital ads and print ads in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, targeting Senator Perdue;
- In Iowa, $32,000 in digital ads and print ads in the Des Moines Register, targeting Senators Ernst and Grassley;
- In Kentucky, $27,000 in digital ads and print ads in the Lexington Herald-Leader, targeting Senator McConnell;
- In North Carolina, $32,000 in digital ads and print ads in the Charlotte Observer, targeting Senators Tillis and Burr;
- In Texas, $84,000 in digital ads and print ads in the Austin American Statesman, San Antonio Express-News, and Houston Chronicle––targeting Senators Cornyn and Cruz, and Congressmen Crenshaw, McCaul, and Taylor;
- In Pennsylvania, $11,000 of digital ads, targeting Congressman Scott Perry.
Sample ad text in North Carolina reads:
“Dear Senators Tillis and Burr:
1,350 North Carolinians have died in the year since the U.S. House passed H.R. 8, a bill to require background checks on all gun sales.
But you’ve refused to act.
Meanwhile, Moms Demand Action volunteers have been busy…”
H.R. 8 is designed to close loopholes in our background check system that enable individuals like domestic abusers and convicted felons to buy guns with no background check and no questions asked. In 2019, the shooter in the West Texas mass shooting exploited these very loopholes to buy the gun he used to kill 7 and wound 22 more. In total, it’s estimated that 38,000+ Americans have been killed by gun violence and twice that many have been wounded while H.R. 8 has sat on Sen. McConnell’s desk.
Background checks on all gun sales are proven to save lives and associated with decreased rates of homicide, suicide, and gun trafficking. They are also immensely popular, supported by 93% of voters, 89% of Republicans, and 87% of gun owners.
In January, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund announced it would spend at least $60 million on the 2020 elections.