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Everytown Victory Fund to Spend at Least $1 Million to Flip Minnesota State Senate to Gun Sense Majority in 2020; Target Dozens of House and Senate Districts in 2020

7.14.2020

For the Second Year in a Row, the Minnesota Senate Refused to Even Consider House-Passed Background Check and Red Flag Bills Backed by Gov. Tim Walz

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Also Unveiling New Digital Ad Slamming Minnesota Senate Republicans for Blocking Common-Sense Gun Safety Measures

In 2018, the Everytown Victory Fund Spent Nearly $800,000 to Flip the State House to a Gun Sense Majority and Elect Tim Walz as Governor — In 2020 We’ll Elect Gun Sense Majorities in Both Chambers, Repeating Success in Virginia’s 2019 Elections

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund (“Everytown Victory Fund”) announced that it will spend at least $1 million between now and November 3 to flip the Minnesota state Senate to a gun sense majority and defend the gun sense majority in the Minnesota state House. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund also unveiled a new digital ad, “Refused to Act: Minnesota,” which slams Minnesota Senate Republicans for blocking gun safety measures for the second year in a row, and asks Minnesotans to support gun sense candidates in 2020. This year’s legislative session marked the second year in a row that Senate Republicans refused to even consider House-passed background check and red flag legislation supported by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.

“Minnesota Senate Republicans are about to learn there’s a steep political price to be paid for ignoring the will of the people and repeatedly blocking common-sense gun safety laws,” said John Feinblatt, head of Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. “Minnesota voters made their priorities crystal clear when they elected a gun sense House and Governor in 2018, and now we’re going to help them finish the job and elect a gun sense Senate in November.”

“Gun safety continues to be a top concern for voters across Minnesota, and after another year without action on gun safety, the Minnesota Senate is absolutely in play in 2020,” said Charlie Kelly, senior political advisor for Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. “Everytown and Moms Demand Action will be deploying our grassroots power and substantial financial investments to deliver a gun sense majority legislature in Minnesota – the same way we did in Virginia in 2019.” 

“We warned our lawmakers in February – vote for gun sense or we’ll vote you out in November. Well, for the second year in a row, Republicans in the Senate blocked common-sense gun safety measures,” said Jessica Deweerth, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We worked hard to elect a gun-sense majority in the House in 2018 and are prepared to do the same to flip the Senate in 2020.”

Republicans currently hold a two-seat majority in the Minnesota state Senate. In order to elect a gun sense majority in the state Senate and defend the gun sense majority in the state House, Everytown Victory Fund will primarily target districts around the growing and diversifying Minneapolis and St. Paul suburbs:

INITIAL OFFENSIVE DISTRICT TARGETS: SD-05, SD-11, SD-14, SD-20, SD-25, SD-26, SD-28, SD-34, SD-38, SD-39, SD-44, SD-56, HD-21A, HD-37B, HD-47B, HD-56A, HD-58A

INITIAL DEFENSIVE DISTRICT TARGETS: SD-04, SD-27, SD-48, SD-53, SD-54, SD-57, SD-58, HD-33B, HD-34B, HD-48B, HD-56B, HD-57B

In 2018, Everytown Victory Fund spent nearly $800,000 to flip the state House to a gun sense majority and elect Tim Walz as Governor. In 2019, Everytown was the largest outside spender in Virginia’s state legislative elections, helping flip Virginia’s General Assembly to a gun sense majority after lawmakers failed to pass common-sense gun safety measures following the shooting in Virginia Beach. The 2020 Minnesota effort will seek to replicate the success of Virginia’s 2019 elections, and will include aggressive paid media and grassroots efforts led by more than 200,000 Moms Demand Action supporters in Minnesota. 

In February, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund announced they would spend at least $60 million on the 2020 elections, including in races up and down the ballot in Minnesota. 

On average, Minnesota has more than 400 gun deaths every year, and gun deaths have increased 26 percent in the last decade. Voter research shows that voters in Minnesota support stronger gun safety laws by a 5:1 margin. As the Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial Board noted in a recent editorial, “Minnesotans have made clear over and over their preference for stronger gun laws. When will state Senate Republicans get that message?” 

 A January survey from Everytown found that the majority of voters in Minnesota support stronger gun safety laws, showing that:

  • Voters in Minnesota support stronger gun laws by a 5:1 margin 
  • 74% of voters consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020
  • A majority of voters say they 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. And it is the TOP issue among suburban women by a five-point margin.
  • 84% of voters surveyed support background checks on all gun sales, including 94% of suburban women, 89% of undecided voters, and 79% of voters surveyed in battleground legislative districts.