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Everytown Victory Fund to Spend at Least $1 Million to Flip Iowa State House to Gun Sense Majority in 2020; Target Dozens of Vulnerable House Districts

July 29, 2020

This Session, Instead of Passing a Commonsense Extreme Risk Bill, the Iowa Legislature Passed a Dangerous Preemption Bill that Would Punish Local Officials for Taking Action to Combat Gun Violence

Voter Research Shows Iowans support Stronger Gun Laws by a 3:1 Margin, and 75% of Voters Consider A Candidate’s Position On Guns “Very Important” To Their Vote In 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund (“Everytown Victory Fund”) announced that it will spend at least $1 million between now and November 3 to flip the Iowa state House to a gun sense majority. This year’s legislative session marked yet another year of inaction on gun violence when lawmakers instead passed dangerous legislation that weakens existing gun safety laws. 

“Iowa voters want stronger gun safety laws, but they’re getting the exact opposite from the majority of their state lawmakers, who are still taking orders from an extreme and out-of-touch gun lobby,”said John Feinblatt, head of Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. “In the run up to Election Day, Everytown will go all out to mobilize gun safety voters and send a gun-sense majority to Des Moines.”

“Gun safety is a triple threat. It mobilizes, it persuades, and it’s increasingly become a litmus test issue for Iowa voters,”said Charlie Kelly, senior political advisor for Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. “Continued inaction on gun violence has absolutely put Iowa in play in 2020. That’s why we’re all in with substantial financial investment and an unbeatable grassroots program to flip the Iowa State House—the same way we did in Virginia in 2019.” 

“Iowans are demanding common-sense gun safety measures but Iowa lawmakers keep taking us backwards,” said Katie Albrecht, a volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action. “So now we put our grassroots momentum to work every day until November to elect a gun sense majority in the House.”

Republicans currently hold a 4-seat majority in the Iowa state House. In order to elect a gun sense majority in the state House, Everytown Victory Fund will primarily target districts around the growing Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport suburbs:

INITIAL OFFENSIVE DISTRICT TARGETS: HD-16, HD-30, HD-37, HD-47, HD-55, HD-63, HD-67, HD-73, HD-76, HD-82, HD-91, HD-92, HD-94, HD-95, HD-97

Everytown will follow a similar playbook to what it deployed in Virginia’s 2019 elections when it was the top outside spender, helping flip Virginia’s General Assembly to a gun sense majority after lawmakers failed to pass common-sense gun safety measures following the shooting in Virginia Beach.  

In February, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund announced they would spend at least $60 million on the 2020 elections, including in races up and down the ballot in Iowa. Throughout the legislative session, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund released two digital ads urging lawmakers to prioritize common-sense gun safety measures. Everytown’s third and latest digital ad, “Ignored Our Safety: Iowa,” which slams Iowa Republicans for continuing to block gun safety measures and instead passing extreme legislation that weakens existing gun safety laws, was the first investment marking Everytown’s commitment to holding Iowa state Republicans accountable at the ballot box this November for failing to act on gun safety during the legislative session. 

A survey from Everytown found that the majority of voters in Iowa support stronger gun safety laws showing that:

  • Voters in Iowa support stronger gun laws by a 3:1 margin 
  • 75% of voters consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020
  • A majority of voters, including 70% Republican women, say they would never vote for a candidate who doesn’t support background checks on all gun sales, and opposing background checks on all gun sales was the most disqualifying candidate position among suburban women by a six-point margin
  • 75% of voters surveyed support enacting a red flag law, also known as an extreme risk law, including 93% of suburban women and 91% of undecided voters 

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