SANTA FE, N.M. – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today declared victory in races across the state for candidates – from both sides of the aisle – including Representative Nate Gentry (R), Senator Bill Soules (D), Liz Stefanics (D) and Elizabeth Thomson (D), who won election because Gun Sense Voters support elected officials who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to protect New Mexico families and communities from gun violence. These victories mean there is now a background check majority headed to the statehouse, where Everytown and Moms Demand Action will urge lawmakers to pass a law requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales during the 2017 legislative session.
This election, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action supported candidates with phonebanking, canvassing, direct financial contributions, paid digital advertising and mail pieces. Additionally, Everytown contributed $140,000 to the Patriot Majority Independent Expenditure Campaign, which made gun safety a pillar of its support for candidates. In total, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent more than $250,000 during the 2016 election in New Mexico.
“New Mexico Moms knew this was a critical year for gun safety in our state and the election results prove the polls right – candidates who want the support of voters must support gun safety legislation. Over the past few months, we’ve called, knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, friends and family – all to get out the vote in support of gun sense candidates from both sides of the aisle,” said Cheryl Haase, a volunteer with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Next up in New Mexico: It’s time our elected leaders in the statehouse move forward on background check legislation that will close the loophole in current law that allows dangerous people to obtain a gun, no background check, no questions asked. The safety of our families and communities depends on it.”
“This election marks a new step in protecting the lives of New Mexicans. Those elected into office will have the opportunity to pass laws that could save lives and prevent other families from experiencing the pain I know all too well by having a loved one taken by gun violence,” said Robin Brule, a member of Everytown Survivor Network, whose mother, a retired teacher and a grandmother of eight, and her friend, were shot and killed in February 2016. “I am proud that New Mexicans voted for gun sense champions who will work to keep our families safe and prevent other senseless acts of violence.”
Just last month, Everytown released a series of mail pieces and paid digital advertising in support of gun sense champion Nate Gentry, who won his race, and also in opposition to Ceil Levatino, who lost her race to gun sense champion Bill Soules after being the only vote against the resolution passed this summer by the Las Cruces City Council urging the state legislature to close the background check loophole in New Mexico by passing a law that would require criminal background checks for all gun sales. Over the summer, Santa Fe also passed the same city-wide resolution.
Everytown and the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action have more than 31,000 supporters in the state who were instrumental in achieving these victories. Leading up to the elections, volunteers made nearly 28,000 calls to New Mexico voters and signed up nearly 3,000 Gun Sense Voters in targeted districts.