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Everytown Unveils New Pennsylvania Polling, Announces $250,000 Digital Campaign to Pressure State Lawmakers to Act on Gun Safety

Everytown Also Unveiling New Voter Research Indicating Voters in PA Support Stronger Gun Laws by a 9:1 Margin and 78% of Voters that Support Gun Safety Consider a Candidate’s Position on Guns “Very Important” to Their Vote in 2020

Last Week, Everytown Announced $60 Million Electoral Program for 2020 — Double What it Spent in 2018

NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund announced a $250,000 digital campaign to put Pennsylvania state lawmakers “on notice” and pressure them to pass gun safety measures, including extreme risk legislation — also known as red flag legislation — and comprehensive background checks on all gun sales. The campaign, which will feature multiple rounds of ads over the coming months, will begin this week with a $50,000 digital ad buy to support a new ad: “Pennsylvania: On Notice.” The digital ad will run statewide with a focus on suburban women and African American women voters. 

Everytown is also unveiling new voter research, which found that voters in Pennsylvania support stronger gun safety laws by a 9:1 margin and 78% of voters, including 82% of voters who support stronger gun laws, consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020.

“Pennsylvania voters have had it with the epidemic of gun violence that’s plagued our state and our country,” said Katie Leslie, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “That’s why we’re putting our state legislators on notice. They can either pass common-sense gun safety laws in 2020, or start looking for new jobs come 2021 – just like Virginian lawmakers who opposed gun safety are now.”

This spend comes on the heels of growing momentum for common-sense gun safety legislation in Pennsylvania. Though the legislature has failed to adopt widely popular, lifesaving measures like extreme risk legislation – also known as a red flag legislation, Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro have both been champions of gun violence prevention. Governor Wolf has used his executive power to launch nearly two dozen gun safety initiatives, including proactive programs to prevent city gun violence before it happens and measures to combat gun-involved domestic violence. Attorney General Shapiro has been a leader on regulating ghost guns – untraceable, undetectable do-it-yourself guns that allow people who would fail a background check to acquire firearms anyways.

The digital campaign announcement is part of Everytown’s first digital ad campaign pressuring state legislators in 2020, the first since Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund spent $2.5 million to flip Virginia’s General Assembly to a gun sense majority in November 2019. Last week, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund announced it would spend at least $60 million on the 2020 elections. 

VIEW THE FIRST AD, “PENNSYLVANIA: ON NOTICE,” HERE.

The ad text reads:

1,500 Pennsylvanians are shot and killed every year.

Pennsylvania lawmakers, you are ON NOTICE.

Tell Pennsylvania lawmakers: Pass effective gun safety laws. Send a message.

A sample Facebook post headline accompanying the ad will read:

Tell Pennsylvania Lawmakers: Take Action on Gun Safety Now!

The ad will click through to a landing page, which asks Pennsylvanians to sign a petition calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to support critical gun safety measures. 

The digital campaign announcement accompanies the release of a new poll conducted by Global Strategy Group on behalf of Everytown. The results of the poll show that voters in Pennsylvania overwhelmingly support stronger gun laws and consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020. 

READ THE SURVEY MEMO RESULTS HERE.

The poll found a majority of respondents – including critical swing groups like independents, suburban women, and undecided voters – support legislation that would require background checks on all gun sales (91% support) and block domestic abusers from owning guns (94% support). The majority of respondents also supported the enactment of red flag laws, which give family or law enforcement a way to remove guns from someone who is exhibiting violent or unstable behavior (86% support).

Additional key findings include:

  • Over three-quarters of Pennsylvania voters (78%), including 82% of voters who support stronger gun laws, consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020. 
  • Sixty-four percent of voters would never vote for a candidate who doesn’t support background checks on all gun sales, putting the issue on par with health care and national security in voters’ minds. 
  • Further, nearly 60 percent of voters are less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes a red flag law (58%); 70% are less likely to support someone who stands in the way of background checks for all gun sales.

Global Strategy Group conducted a survey of 600 likely voters, including 199 voters from Pennsylvania battleground districts. 

More than 1,500 people are killed by gun violence every year in Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania gun deaths are on the rise, increasing by 18 percent between 2008 and 2017.