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Everytown Announces Ad Spend to Hold Senators Ernst and Grassley 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 250+ Iowans and 38,000+ Americans Have Been Killed by Guns. But Senators Ernst and Grassley have Failed to Act. 

This Week, Everytown and Moms Demand Action Are Holding Sen. Ernst and Sen Grassley Accountable for their Inaction and Demanding They 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 Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley 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 Senators Ernst and Grassley pass this life-saving law. 

“Inaction from the Senate on this life-saving legislation for a full year is unacceptable,” said Katie Albrecht, volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “In the time since this bill passed the House with bipartisan support, more than 200 Iowans have been killed by gun violence, and twice that many have been wounded––but still, the Senate has refused to act. So this week, we’re sending a message to Senators Ernst and Grassley: your inaction is unacceptable, and Iowans are 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 over 250 Iowans being killed by gun violence every year, and many more being wounded, Senators Ernst and Grassley have done nothing to pass this bill. In fact, shortly after last year’s tragic mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, Senator Ernst failed to support background checks and tried to shift the blame for gun violence onto mental health. And instead of listening to the 93 percent of American voters who support background checks on all gun sales, both Senators seem to be listening to the NRA––which has given them ‘A’ ratings, spent millions to re-elect them, and urged senators like them to oppose H.R. 8.  

The print ad ran in Sunday’s Des Moines Register, and the digital ads will run on Facebook and on

Sample ad text reads:

“Dear Senators Ernst and Grassley: 
Over 250 Iowans 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. And in Iowa, voters support stronger gun safety laws by a 3:1 margin and 75% of voters consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020.

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, GA, IA, KY, NC, PA, and TX. The campaign will also feature grassroots events in several of those states, including one on the steps of Sen. McConnell’s Kentucky office, and voter registration drives led by Students Demand Action across the country.

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