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Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Newtown Survivor Statements on Hillary Clinton’s Selection of Tim Kaine as Vice Presidential Nominee

Tim Kaine Has Always Bucked the NRA and Put the Safety of Americans First; 2016 Proves to be the Year of Gun Safety as Clinton and Kaine Form Gun Sense Ticket for White House

Hundreds of Gun Safety Advocates from Everytown and Moms Demand Action to Gather in Philadelphia Before Setting Off to Elect Gun Sense Champion Hillary Clinton as President and Win Other Gun Safety Priorities at the Ballot Box in November

NEW YORK – In response to reports that Hillary Clinton has selected Tim Kaine as her running mate, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown, today released the following statements. Last month, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action endorsed Hillary Clinton for president because she was the only candidate willing to stand up to the gun lobby. The endorsement was a key part of Everytown’s 2016 electoral agenda that also includes ballot initiatives for stronger gun laws in Maine, Nevada and Washington state.

STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“Senator Kaine is a gun sense champion of the first order, and his selection underscores that Hillary Clinton is putting gun safety first during this campaign. Throughout Senator Kaine’s political career, the NRA has worked tirelessly – but unsuccessfully – to oppose and defeat him because of his strong leadership on gun safety. With a Clinton-Kaine ticket, it’s clear that the political calculus has changed: Candidates are now running on a platform of gun safety and bucking the NRA, from the presidential ticket on down. Voters have a clear choice in November if they want to elect leaders who will fight gun violence: They are Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.”

STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“Moms and survivors have long supported Tim Kaine and we welcome him on the presidential ticket with Hillary Clinton. From the earliest days of Moms Demand Action, Senator Kaine has supported our work to pass common-sense laws on both the state and federal levels. Tim Kaine doesn’t just talk the talk on gun safety; he walks the walk. No longer are elected leaders for the highest offices in our nation putting gun lobby politics ahead of saving American lives. The Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine ticket is the exact kind of gun safety ticket Americans need in the White House – and moms and survivors will work tirelessly to make sure they are the next President and Vice President in November. The year of gun safety is playing out right before us and we’ll be there every step of the way using our voices – and our votes – to change our country’s priorities when it comes to addressing gun violence.”

STATEMENT FROM ERICA LAFFERTY SMEGIELSKI, WHOSE MOTHER DAWN LAFFERTY HOCHSPRUNG, THE PRINCIPAL AT SANDY HOOK SCHOOL, DIED WHILE PROTECTING HER STUDENTS. ERICA IS A PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER AT EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AND MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK:

“Senator Kaine has stood with survivors of gun violence during their private moments of agony and grief – and he has stood up for them by showing true leadership and urging his fellow elected leaders to take action. With this selection, Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she stands unequivocally on the side of gun violence prevention. As a survivor of gun violence, I could not be more excited to support the Clinton-Kaine ticket, which will put saving American lives from gun violence first.”

More on Tim Kaine’s history of gun safety:

  • Senator Kaine received an ‘F’ from the NRA in 2005 and 2012 and during his Senatorial campaign, the National Rifle Association spent nearly $750,000 trying to defeat him.

  • Senator Kaine has consistently supported common-sense gun safety legislation, including requiring background checks on all gun sales and closing then Terror Gap to help keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.

  • In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting, then-Governor Kaine led efforts to keep guns out of the hands of felons and those with dangerous mental illnesses.

  • Senator Kaine has been a strong opponent of dangerous gun lobby proposals, including:

  • Legislation that would weaken gun safety protections by making it harder to add dangerously mentally ill individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background (NICS) system; and

  • “Concealed carry reciprocity” – the NRA’s top federal policy priority and a lowest-common denominator standard for carrying hidden, loaded guns in public. Concealed carry reciprocity turns states’ rights on its head by forcing all states to recognize concealed carry permits from the rest of the country, thus allowing dangerous criminals and those with no safety training to carry hidden, loaded guns virtually anywhere.
  • Starting next week, national gun safety leaders, policy experts and gun violence survivors will gather in Philadelphia for a range of activities before Hillary Clinton, who has placed saving lives from gun violence at the top of her agenda, formally accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination to be president.