TOPEKA, Kan. – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today declared victory in electing gun sense candidate Laura Kelly as governor. Kelly’s platform included support for common-sense gun safety laws in the Sunflower State as she beat her extreme, NRA-endorsed opponent, Kris Kobach, who once drove a truck mounted with a replica machine gun during a holiday parade. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund endorsed Laura Kelly and contributed more than $800,000 for ads that highlighted Kelly and Kobach’s positions on important issues.
In addition to Kelly, Sharice Davids won her race for Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District. Endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Davids’ district was included in Everytown’s $5-million dollar advertising campaign called “Not One More,” which targeted women, youth and people of color in critical congressional districts. As part of this campaign, Everytown spent nearly $245,000 in Davids’ district.
“The election of Laura Kelly and Sharice Davids makes it clear that voters in the heartland are sick and tired of the NRA’s dangerous and divisive agenda,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Kelly and Davids are the gun safety champions Kansas needs — inspiring leaders who understand that common-sense gun safety laws go hand in hand with responsible gun ownership.”
“Gun safety matters in Kansas and we sent that message loud and clear by electing Laura Kelly as our governor,” said Jo Ella Hoye, a volunteer leader with the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Today we celebrate, but tomorrow, we roll up our sleeves and once again get back to work on making our families and communities safer by passing common-sense gun safety legislation that will help save lives.”
“My fellow Kansans stood up for gun violence victims with their voices and their votes this election cycle,” said Tonya Boyd, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network from Topeka, whose daughter, Tyesha McNair, was shot and killed by her ex-partner in 2009. “I’m proud to be a part of a movement that refuses to stand idly by in the face of inaction and instead, elects candidates like Laura Kelly who will put gun safety ahead of gun lobby priorities.”
The election wins for gun safety in Kansas come after significant progress in the state during the 2018 legislative session. Twice, lawmakers stood on the side of gun safety. First, state lawmakers worked together to enact a bipartisan law closing gaps in state law that gave domestic abusers easy access to guns, which was signed into law by Governor Jeff Colyer. Additionally, the legislature stood up to gun lobby pressure and rejected a dangerous proposal that would have lowered the bar for carrying a concealed handgun in public in Kansas – including by lowering the minimum age from 21 to 18. Taken together, these developments make clear that gun politics are changing dramatically in Kansas, where the gun lobby has long held sway.
Leading up to the midterm election, Everytown and Moms Demand Action volunteers in Kansas had more than 2,000 conversations at doors and 35,000 conversations during phone calls for gun sense candidates.