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Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Launches $135,000 Digital Spend Against Virginia Republican Legislators who Refused to Support Gun Safety

Digital Ads Are the First of $2.5 Million Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Effort to Elect Gun Sense Majority in Virginia General Assembly

Everytown Also Unveiling New Battleground Message Poll Showing Republicans’ Opposition to Red Flag Legislation the Single Most Resonant Message Among Voters in Swing Districts in 2019 Virginia Elections

NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is launching $135,000 in digital ads in 14 Republican-held Virginia state-House and Senate districts in order to elect a gun sense majority in the Virginia General Assembly that will take action on gun safety. The ads represent the start of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s $2.5 million electoral program to elect gun sense majorities in Virginia’s 2019 elections, Everytown’s most robust commitment ever in the commonwealth. The ads will appear in four Senate Districts and 10 House Districts spanning the Northern Virginia, Richmond suburbs and Hampton Roads regions, including: SD-07; SD-10; SD-12; SD-13; HD-27; HD-28; HD-40; HD-66; HD-76; HD-81; HD-83; HD-84; HD-91; and HD-94.

“After the Virginia Beach mass shooting, the state’s Republican lawmakers chose the NRA over public safety — but now the choice lies with voters, and all signs point to them electing gun sense champions in November,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown has launched our most robust electoral program ever for Virginia, and we have one simple goal: Hold gun lobby lawmakers accountable for their choices.”

Everytown is also unveiling results of a battleground poll — conducted by Schoen Consulting before the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton — which found gun violence prevention to be the single-most resonant issue among voters in the swing-areas of Northern Virginia, the Richmond suburbs and Hampton Roads. Specifically:

  • Analyzing a series of statements made against Republicans running for General Assembly across a wide range of topics, including gun violence prevention, health care, education, the environment, taxes and President Trump, gun violence prevention-centered messages tested best in all three regions.
  • Republican opposition to Red Flag laws was the top testing message in all three regions.
  • Across all regions, Republican legislators voting to adjourn the July 2019 special session without passing gun safety legislation made voters more likely to vote Democratic.
  • Large majorities of likely voters in the Richmond Suburbs (87 percent), Hampton Roads (83 percent), and Northern Virginia (82 percent) believe that a candidate’s position on guns is important to their voting decision.

Ad text includes:
Republicans in Virginia’s General Assembly oppose gun safety laws that give families and law enforcement a way to get guns away from people who are exhibiting violent or unstable behavior. Oppose Republican candidates that put the NRA ahead of your safety.

The ads will click through to http://www.gunsensevoter.org, which allows voters to look-up Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidates who are running for office in their district and who have demonstrated that they will govern with gun safety in mind. Candidates were awarded with a Gun Sense Candidate Distinction after filling out a questionnaire demonstrating their commitment to gun safety.

Last month, following the mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, in which 12 people were shot and killed and four more were wounded, Virginia’s Republican-led General Assembly voted to adjourn a special session on gun violence just 90 minutes after it began. Lawmakers adjourned without any hearings or floor votes on the proposed gun safety legislation, which included Red Flag legislation (also known as extreme risk legislation), background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines and silencers.