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Everytown Announces Ad Spend and Grassroots Event to Hold Senator McConnell Accountable for One Year of Inaction on H.R. 8

February 25, 2020

In the Year Since the U.S. House Passed H.R. 8––A Bipartisan Bill to Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales––an Estimated 38,000 Americans Have Been Killed by Guns, But Senator McConnell Refuses to Even Bring it to the Floor for a Vote. 

This Week, Everytown and Moms Demand Action Are Holding Senator McConnell Accountable for his Inaction and Demanding He Pass Lifesaving Background Checks Legislation.

WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action, announced a campaign to hold Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accountable for one year of inaction on H.R. 8––a bipartisan and immensely popular bill to require background checks on all gun sales. The campaign is built around February 27, the one year anniversary of the day the U.S. House passed H.R. 8, and will run throughout next week. It will feature digital and print advertising demanding that Senator McConnell pass this life-saving law, and a press conference this weekend in Louisville at Senator McConnell’s office featuring Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, as well as survivors of gun violence. 

“38,000 Americans and their families have paid the price this year for Senator McConnell’s refusal to even allow a vote on the background check legislation passed by the House,” said Cathy Mekus, a volunteer with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The longer Mitch McConnell fails to act, the more deaths will be on his conscience. And we will be watching.”

H.R. 8 is designed to close loopholes in our background check system that enable individuals like domestic abusers and convicted felons to buy guns with no background check and no questions asked. Despite hundreds of Kentuckians and thousands of Americans being killed by gun violence every year, and many more being wounded, Senator McConnell has refused to bring this life-saving bill to the floor for a vote. 

Senator McConnell has a long history of siding with the NRA and opposing gun safety legislation. After a mass shooting at the Standard Gravure printing plant in Kentucky in 1989 – the deadliest mass shooting in Kentucky’s history – McConnell said, ‘We need to be careful about legislating in the middle of a crisis.’ In 1993, McConnell opposed the Brady bill to create the National Instant Criminal Background Check system. And after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook School and in Las Vegas, McConnell continued to actively campaign against common-sense gun safety legislation. 

The print ad ran in Sunday’s Lexington Herald-Leader, and the digital ads will run online throughout the week. 


Sample ad text reads:

“Dear Senator McConnell: 

Over 700 Kentuckians have died in the year since the U.S. House passed H.R. 8, a bill to require background checks on all gun sales. 

But you’ve refused to act. 

Meanwhile, Moms Demand Action volunteers have been busy…”

Background checks on all gun sales are proven to save lives and associated with decreased rates of homicide, suicide, and gun trafficking. They are also immensely popular, supported by 93% of American voters, 89% of Republicans, and 87% of gun owners. 

These print and digital ads are a part of a nationwide campaign by Everytown targeted at lawmakers in key states who have failed to support H.R. 8, including U.S. senators and representatives in AZ, CO, GA, IA, NC, PA, and TX. The campaign will also feature grassroots events in several of those states and voter registration drives led by Students Demand Action across the country.

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