Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Contributing $175,000 to Campaigns of Sheila Bynum-Coleman in HD-66 and John Bell in SD-13 to Help Air Each Candidate’s Gun Safety-Themed TV Ads in Richmond and Washington D.C. Media Markets
Contributions Are Part of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s $2.5 Million Effort to Elect a Gun Sense Majority in Virginia’s General Assembly
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund announced that it is donating $175,000 to Sheila Bynum-Coleman’s campaign for Virginia’s 66th House District and John Bell’s campaign for Virginia’s 13th Senate District in order to help air TV ads highlighting each candidate’s support for common-sense gun safety laws. The ads will air in the Richmond and Washington, D.C., markets, respectively, and are the first gun safety-themed TV ads to air in Virginia’s 2019 elections.
The donations are part of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s and Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund’s $2.5 million effort to elect a gun sense majority in Virginia’s General Assembly this Fall — Everytown’s most robust commitment ever in the Commonwealth. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund will also incorporate both ads into its digital advertising effort.
“Everytown is proud to support Sheila Bynum-Coleman and John Bell, two committed gun sense champions who will help deliver what Commonwealth voters are demanding: strong laws to keep Virginians safe from gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “In the wake of the Virginia Beach mass shooting, Republican lawmakers chose to protect the gun lobby — so now Everytown is going all-out to elect leaders who realize their first duty is protecting the people.”
“After my daughter survived a senseless act of gun violence in 2016, I made it my mission to advocate for common-sense gun laws to keep Virginians safe,” said Sheila Bynum-Coleman, candidate for Virginia’s 66th House District. “But after the Virginia Beach mass shooting, Speaker Kirk Cox took his cues from the gun lobby, shutting down the special session to address gun violence and calling action to reduce gun violence a ‘stunt.’ My message is clear: my daughter getting shot wasn’t a ‘stunt,’ and when I’m elected to the General Assembly I’ll help lead the fight for common-sense gun laws.”
“In the House, I have consistently introduced common-sense legislation to prevent gun violence, only to see it die at the hands of partisan politics every single year. In the Senate, I will continue to make gun violence prevention my top priority,” said State Representative John Bell, candidate for Virginia’s 13th Senate District. “My opponent refuses to vote in the best interest of public safety, even when lives are at stake. I am not and will never be afraid to stand up to the gun lobby. It is a great honor to have earned the support of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund for this race, and I look forward to working together through 2019 and beyond.”
In “Safety,” Sheila Bynum-Coleman describes how her daughter was shot while leaving a party in August of 2016. She says, “Ending gun violence is personal to me. We can protect families by expanding background checks and keeping guns out of dangerous hands. But during the special session on guns, Speaker Cox worked for the gun lobby, not us. He shut the session down in 90 minutes, with no votes. Kirk Cox cares more about the gun lobby than our families.”
In “100 Yards,” John Bell highlights another recent shooting by a stray bullet that took place in Loudoun County in Northern Virginia. Bell’s opponent Geary Higgins, as a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, voted against a local ordinance that would have helped protect Virginians from stray bullets. In the ad, Bell says, “We fought for change, but the NRA opposed common-sense gun reform … I’m not afraid of the NRA, especially when it comes to keeping our kids safe.”
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s previously announced electoral work in Virginia’s 2019 elections includes:
- A commitment to spend $2.5 million in Virginia’s 2019 elections.
- Endorsing 25 candidates — 22 running in the most competitive districts in the commonwealth — and making $113,000 in direct contributions to endorsed candidates.
- Contributing $125,000 to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus, $100,000 to the Virginia House Democratic Caucus and $100,000 to Take the Majority (Democratic Party of Virginia).
- Launching $135,000 in digital ads in 14 Republican-held Virginia state-House and Senate districts.
- Unveiling results of a battleground message poll, which found gun safety to be a top issue among voters in swing areas of Virginia.