Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, announced that so far, over 1,000 candidates this election cycle have been awarded the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction. Candidates receive the distinction based on their responses to a questionnaire on gun safety policies. This is the first year that candidates at all levels of the ballot are eligible to apply for a distinction, including those running for local offices like school boards. Awarding 1,000 distinctions by May represents a record pace for the program.
“More and more voters are looking for candidates who pledge to fight hard for gun safety ― and now it’s easier than ever to find them,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Candidates for office know that running on gun safety wins elections, and they also know the gold-standard credential is our Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction.”
“Since launching the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate program in 2018, we’ve turned the NRA A-rating into a scarlet letter and instead candidates are racing to run on strong gun safety agendas,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “As we’re seeing with this milestone, gun safety is a winning political issue and our grassroots army is energized to get to work electing Gun Sense Candidates up and down the ballot this November.”
The Gun Sense Candidate distinction is a signal to Everytown and Moms Demand Action’s over eight million supporters, volunteers, and voters across the country that a candidate will govern with gun safety in mind, if elected. The Gun Sense Candidate distinction is not an endorsement from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, or its volunteer networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action. Additionally, multiple candidates in a race can receive the distinction. Receiving the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction is a prerequisite for being considered for endorsement.
The Gun Sense Candidate distinction program began in 2018, when the program recognized over 3,000 candidates running for office. In 2020, the program doubled in size and recognized an additional 3,000 candidates, including candidates in 49 states and Washington DC and for offices from President to State Legislature. Of the 2020 Gun Sense Candidates who ran during the general election, nearly 60% won their races—resulting in a federal gun sense trifecta between the White House, the U.S. House, and the U.S. Senate.