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Everytown Sends A Message to Sen. McConnell and Gun Lobby Allies in the Senate After One Year of Inaction on H.R. 8

March 2, 2020

Last week, gun violence prevention activists, survivors of gun violence and allied lawmakers came together across the country to hold Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and gun lobby allies in Congress 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 was built around February 27, the one year anniversary of the day the U.S. House passed H.R. 8, and ran throughout last week. It included $300,000 in digital and print advertising, which targeted U.S. senators and representatives in AZ, CO, GA, IA, KY, NC, PA, and TX who have refused to support background checks on all gun sales; an event at the U.S. Capitol, hosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), featuring Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors Judi and Wayne Richardson; grassroots events in CO, TX, and NC featuring allied Members of Congress and elected officials; op-eds from Shannon Watts, and John Feinblatt, and survivors of gun violence in CO, AZ, IA, TX, KY, and NC; and grassroots activism, including more than 20,000 calls to voters and 120,000 online messages to senators. 

Here’s what people are saying about the one year anniversary of H.R. 8: 

  • Associated Press: “A year after House vote, Dems challenge McConnell on guns”
  • The Hill: “Everytown plans ad blitz on anniversary of House background check bill”
  • Colorado Politics: “Gun control advocates lament universal background check measure languishing in U.S. Senate”
  • KHOU 11 Texas: “Houston leaders demand action from Senate on creating new background check requirements on private gun sales”
  • “A year after House vote, Democrats challenge McConnell on guns”
  • The Butler Collegian: “Take a vote on H.R.8, Mitch McConnell”
  • AJC: “Everytown for Gun Safety… took out a full page ad in Sunday’s edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution criticizing U.S. Sen. David Perdue for not embracing a bill requiring background checks on all gun sales.”
  • Pennsylvania Capital-Star: “New ad campaign hits Pa. Rep. Perry over background checks vote”
  • AZ Mirror: “Gun-control groups launch campaign against McSally” 
  • Globe Gazette: “gun safety groups target Ernst and Grassley” 

Here’s what Shannon Watts, John Feinblatt, and several survivors of gun violence wrote about the Senate’s deadly year of inaction on background checks: 

  • TIME, Shannon Watts: “The Senate Sits on Commonsense Gun Reform While Americans Die”
  • USA Today, John Feinblatt: “Mitch McConnell’s blockade on gun background checks is a year old. Let the Senate vote.”
  • The Denver Post, Coni Sanders: “McConnell and Gardner could learn some bravery from my dad’s sacrifice at Columbine”
  • Courier Journal, Hollan Holm: “Heath High shooting survivor: I’ll think about McConnell’s prayers when I vote against him”
  • Tucson Daily Star, Mary Reed: “Jan. 8 Shooting Survivor Mary Reed: Senate still holding up gun background check vote”
  • Greensboro News & Record, Alicia Campbell: “I lost my son to gun violence. How many more will feel the same grief?”
  • Iowa Starting Line, Sarah Melhado: “Domestic Violence Survivor To Ernst: Support Background Checks”
  • Austin American Statesman, Mariam El-Haj: “I’m a gun violence survivor. I know background checks can make a difference”

And here’s just a snapshot of what Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers did over the last week:

Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors Judi and Wayne Richardson speak at an event hosted by Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer at the U.S. Capitol. Remarks can be found here (21:15).
Moms Demand Action volunteers, Students Demand Action Volunteers, Mayor Steve Schewel, and gun violence survivors hosted an event in Durham, NC holding Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) accountable for their inaction.  
Moms Demand Action volunteers, gun violence survivors, and three members of Congress at an event in Aurora, CO holding Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) accountable for his inaction. 
Moms Demand Action volunteers, gun violence survivors, law enforcement officials, and three members of Congress at an event in Houston, TX holding Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) accountable for their inaction. 

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