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Everytown, Colorado Moms Demand Action: Victory for Gun Safety As Gun Sense Candidates Jared Polis, Jason Crow Wins Governor’s Race, CO-06 Congressional Race

November 6, 2018

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Targeted Colorado’s 6th Congressional District with its $5-Million ‘Not One More’ Ad Campaign, and Spent More Than $700,000 on TV Ads

Results Mark a Decisive Defeat for the Gun Lobby, Whose Influence in Colorado Politics is Slipping

DENVER – Today, Colorado voters made clear that the politics of gun safety have changed and that they want elected leaders that make gun violence prevention a priority by voting to elect gun sense champions, who will push for common-sense gun safety laws. This election cycle, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund actively supported endorsed candidates across Colorado who won their races, including Jared Polis, who defeated Treasurer Walker Stapleton in the Governor’s race, and Jason Crow, who defeated Congressman Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District. Both Stapleton and Coffman were endorsed by the NRA in a state where the NRA has vied for power for years.

“The fact that Colorado, one of the most purple states in the nation, chose gun safety champions over NRA candidates is further proof that the vast majority of Americans want common-sense gun laws,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “In electing gun sense champions Jared Polis and Jason Crow, Coloradans honored the victims and survivors of Columbine, Aurora and hundreds of other tragic shootings by electing leaders who will take action to keep them safe.”

“The politics of gun safety have changed in Colorado, and this election has proved it. Tonight, Coloradans elected a gun sense champion in Jason Crow who will take on the gun lobby in Congress, and a gun sense Governor in Jared Polis who will prioritize gun violence prevention,” said Robin Horn, a volunteer with Colorado Moms Demand Action. “Colorado’s state lawmakers must listen to the people of Colorado and pass a Red Flag law to keep Coloradans safe, and our congressional representatives must finally pass a federal law to require background checks on unlicensed gun sales.”

“Nearly 20 years ago my dad, Coach Dave Sanders, was shot and killed at Columbine High School,” said Coni Sanders, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose father, Dave Sanders, was a teacher and girls’ basketball coach killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. “This election, Coloradans honored my dad, and the many Coloradans who have been shot and killed, or wounded, from gun violence, by electing a new wave of leaders who will put public safety ahead of gun lobby priorities. Coloradans should be proud to have leaders fighting for our safety.”

Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors knocked doors and phonebanked for gun sense candidates across Colorado, including independent expenditure canvasses to support Polis and Crow. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund also targeted Colorado’s 6th Congressional District as part of a $5-million advertising campaign called “Not One More” to get out the vote for gun safety in 16 key congressional districts. Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund also spent more than $700,000 on a TV ad to close out the election highlighting Coffman’s inaction on gun safety.

Everytown also contributed $1.5 million to the Democratic Governors Association this cycle. The DGA was involved in critical races this year, including in states like Colorado, Michigan and Rhode Island. Everytown’s significant contributions helped DGA elect gun sense champions and educate voters about their candidates’ stance on gun safety laws.

Gun safety played a central role in the governor’s race and the contest in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. In the governor’s race, Polis ran on a platform that included common-sense gun safety laws and promised to take on the NRA, while Stapleton said he would repeal many of Colorado’s gun safety laws. In Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, Coffman had taken more NRA PAC money than anyone in Colorado’s congressional delegation, while Jason Crow has made gun safety a central issue in his campaign, even running ads on gun safety.

Everytown’s electoral spending followed a year in which it was clear that the politics of gun safety have shifted in the Rocky Mountain State. During the 2018 legislative session, the Colorado House passed bipartisan Red Flag legislation to create a way for family members and law enforcement to act before warning signs escalate into deadly firearm tragedies with firearms. Although a Senate committee blocked this bill before it could receive a vote on the Colorado Senate floor, its passage through the House reflected the continued growth of the state’s gun violence prevention movement. Meanwhile, NRA-backed bills to force K-12 schools to allow civilians to carry loaded handguns either openly or concealed, and to remove Colorado’s requirement of a permit in order to carry a concealed handgun in public, both failed.

Leading up to the midterm election, Everytown and Colorado Moms Demand Action volunteers had more than 5,000 conversations at doors and more than 15,000 conversations during phone calls for gun sense candidates.

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