Biden’s Election is a Victory for Gun Safety, and a Colossal Loss for the NRA — Trump’s Largest Outside Backer in 2016, Which Halved its Spending for Trump this Cycle Amid Unprecedented Turmoil and Investigations
Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund Partnered With Priorities USA Action to Help Elect Biden and Harris, Spending Millions on TV and Digital Ads
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Made 3.7 Million Calls and Texts to Voters This Cycle, With Student Volunteers Registering More than 100,000 Young Voters Nationwide
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund (“Everytown”) and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, celebrated a major victory as Americans elected Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president, defeating NRA-backed President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. President-elect Biden has spent decades fighting for gun safety and Vice President-elect Harris has long been a champion for stronger gun safety laws.
Calling gun violence a “public health epidemic,” President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris ran on an expansive platform to reduce gun violence, which included requiring background checks on all gun sales, enacting red flag laws, stopping the proliferation of “ghost guns,” prohibiting the sale of assault weapons, and ending immunity for the gun industry. Together, they represented the strongest presidential gun safety ticket in history.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’ election is a victory for the gun safety movement and a colossal loss for the NRA, President Trump’s largest outside backer in 2016, which halved its spending for President Trump this election cycle amid unprecedented internal turmoil, and while undergoing multiple investigations. Earlier this year, Everytown launched its largest political effort ever.
Gun sense candidates nationwide have defeated NRA-backed candidates in marquee races, including Senator-elect John Hickenlooper in Colorado, Senator-elect Mark Kelly in Arizona, Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in Texas’ 7th congressional district, and Carolyn Bourdeaux in Georgia’s 7th congressional district. Nearly 30 Moms Demand Action volunteers have already won races up and down the ballot, including former Everytown employee and Moms Demand Action volunteer Rep. Lucy McBath in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, former Moms Demand Action volunteer Marie Newman in Illinois’ 3rd congressional district, and volunteers running for elected office from the school board to the statehouse in states including Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the strongest gun safety ticket in American history, and so their victory is the strongest proof yet that gun safety is a winning issue,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown is incredibly proud to count President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris as longtime allies, and we will do everything in our power to help them enact the common-sense gun policies the American people are demanding.”
“Our grassroots army of volunteers worked day-in and day-out for months to elect the strongest gun safety ticket in history,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “President-elect Biden has taken on the NRA and won — twice — and now, we can’t wait to see President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris continue their legacies of standing up to the NRA and keeping American families safe — this time from the White House.”
In 2019, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris participated in Everytown Action Fund’s first-ever Presidential Gun Sense Candidate Membership Forum, held in Iowa, following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Earlier this year, Vice President-elect Harris participated in Everytown Action Fund’s virtual series, “Demanding Women: Quarantine Conversations About Gun Violence.” The series featured conversations with potential vice presidential contenders.
Voter research conducted by Everytown found that gun safety-themed messages were among the most effective at moving voters to support President-elect Biden over President Trump, and that messaging that coupled the dual crises of COVID-19 and gun violence were the second most effective overall. Messaging that highlighted how Republicans sided with the gun lobby were in the same range of effectiveness as messages that centered around issues like health care and Social Security and Medicare. A July poll conducted in partnership with Higher Heights for America found that 86% of Black voters consider a candidate’s position on guns as more important than a candidate’s stance towards Trump. Pre-election polling also found that gun safety is a winning issue across battleground states, and that messaging deployed by Everytown in its paid media moved a generic ballot up to six points in Democrats’ favor amongst key demographics.
Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund partnered with Priorities USA Action to produce TV and digital ads to support President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, and defeat President Trump. Everytown Victory Fund’s TV and digital ads held President Trump accountable for failing to keep Americans safe from the dual health crises of gun violence and COVID-19, and for opposing bipartisan gun safety measures after benefiting from $31 million in political support from the NRA during the 2016 election. Everytown Victory Fund also ran ads in both English and Spanish, including ads contrasting how President-elect Biden and President Trump would lead America in this unprecedented time in our history.
Volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action — Everytown’s grassroots networks — seamlessly transitioned to virtual campaigning during the pandemic. Volunteers with Students Demand Action registered more than 100,000 young voters nationwide, launching virtual field offices as part of a student-run voter registration program to change the electorate ahead of the election. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers made more than 3.7 million calls and texts encouraging Americans to vote in 2020.
Everytown for Gun Safety’s coordinated campaign team spent months working to ensure the issue of gun violence was a key focus in the presidential race, priority federal and state races, and at the Democratic National Convention, where gun violence prevention was a key platform issue and Moms Demand Action volunteer and survivor videos were featured during primetime DNC programming.
In addition to serving as a surrogate for Women for Biden, Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts joined President-elect Biden in March in Ohio, virtually hosted future First Lady Jill Biden in August during Everytown’s annual Gun Sense University training conference for over 3,000 volunteers, held a national grassroots rally with future Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff to mark two weeks until the election, and acted as a Biden campaign surrogate throughout the election cycle. Watts, other Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, and gun violence survivors also joined virtual Biden campaign events in battleground states across the country, while survivors, volunteers and Everytown Creative Council surrogates participated in dozens of national and local events as campaigns prioritized gun safety.
Moms Demand Action volunteers — in their signature red t-shirts — were a fixture on the campaign trail, too, supporting President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris in person and at virtual campaign events throughout the election cycle.