ATLANTA – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown, today declared a major victory as voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District elected gun sense champion Lucy McBath to Congress. McBath, a first-time candidate, was spurred by the tragic death of her son to become a leader in the gun safety movement and later to run against a gun lobby candidate in a district that leans Republican. Voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District made it clear that they want a representative who will make their safety a priority and fight for common-sense gun safety laws, and that the politics of gun safety have changed in Georgia – a state that has long been in the gun lobby’s grip. McBath’s opponent, Rep. Karen Handel, was endorsed and A-rated by the NRA.
McBath’s win is a huge moment for the gun safety movement, as a gun violence survivor defeated the incumbent, Rep. Karen Handel, in a district that Handel won by four points almost 18 months ago in the most expensive congressional race ever.
This election cycle, Everytown for Gun Safety actively supported – and endorsed – McBath’s candidacy. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund ran independent expenditures of more than $1.2 million dollars in the primary in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, and Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund ran independent expenditures of more than $3 million in the general election. Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors knocked doors and phonebanked for McBath and other gun sense candidates in Georgia.
“In electing gun safety champion Lucy McBath, Georgians have decisively rejected the NRA and redrawn America’s political map,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Lucy understands that today’s voters are looking for leaders who approach gun safety as a matter of life-or-death — not partisan politics. We could not be more proud of Lucy, an Everytown alumna whose win represents a triumph for every survivor of gun violence who somehow found the strength to transform their pain into action.”
“From the moment I first met Lucy McBath in 2013, I began asking her when she thought she might run for office,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “I couldn’t be more thrilled, yet unsurprised, that just five years later she has been elected to Congress. Lucy’s experiences, her empathy, and her fierce determination to fight for those who have been marginalized or mistreated will make her a stellar lawmaker. And, of course, Lucy is a gun sense champion who will prioritize passing good gun laws in honor of her son, Jordan, and every American affected by gun violence.”
“My neighbors voted on the side of gun safety, and I couldn’t be more proud of this victory,” said Beth Freeman, a volunteer leader with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “In this critical year for the gun violence prevention movement, volunteers like me called, knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, friends and family – all to get out the vote in support of gun sense candidates. Lucy knows firsthand the toll of gun violence, and we know Lucy will stand up to the gun lobby in Washington, and do all she can to protect our families.”
“It’s been over two years since my 14-year-old son, JaJuan, was unintentionally shot and killed by a friend playing with a gun,” said Julvonnia McDowell, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network and a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Like Lucy, I turned my grief into action, and it’s in my son’s memory that I gave my time to preventing gun violence and electing gun sense candidates like Lucy McBath. Lucy knows firsthand the unimaginable pain of losing a loved one to senseless gun violence, and I know that in Washington, she’ll do everything in her power to keep families safe and prevent tragedies like we both experienced from happening again.”
As recently as 2017, lawmakers in Georgia passed a law forcing guns on to college campuses. But following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Fla., residents from across the state urged their elected leaders to prioritize passing gun violence prevention legislation. In February 2018, Moms Demand Action volunteers from across the state were joined by more than 1,500 people at the Georgia chapter’s annual advocacy day. And this election cycle voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District cast their ballots for gun sense candidate McBath. Her win today highlights a significant shift in gun politics in Georgia, where the NRA has long held sway.
McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2012 by a man who objected to the music he and his friends were playing in their car. After her son was killed, McBath left her 30-year career with Delta Airlines and dedicated her life to ending gun violence, becoming a national leader with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. McBath’s deep roots in the gun violence prevention movement were at the forefront of her campaign. McBath’s win proves that you can run – and win – on gun safety in Georgia.