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Everytown Vows to Flip Control of Iowa Legislature in 2020, Launches Digital Ad Campaign Slamming Republicans for Passing Bill to Weaken Gun Laws

June 24, 2020

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

DES MOINES, Iowa  Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund vowed to flip the Iowa state legislature to a gun sense majority, starting with the Iowa state House, and unveiled a new 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.

“Polls show that a majority of Iowans want stronger gun laws, but Republican legislators are taking direction from the gun lobby and weakening them instead,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Come November, lawmakers will learn there’s a steep political price to be paid for putting gun lobby priorities ahead of the people’s will.”

“Gun safety continues to be a top concern for voters across Iowa, and after another year without action on gun safety, the Iowa legislature is absolutely in play in 2020,” said Charlie Kelly, senior political advisor for Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown and Moms Demand Action will be deploying our grassroots power and substantial financial investments to deliver a gun sense majority legislature in Iowa — the same way we did in Virginia in 2019.” 

“Iowans demanded action on gun safety. Instead, Iowa Republicans rolled back our gun laws. Now, we vote them out,” said Traci Kennedy, a volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Iowans deserve leaders who will put their safety first so we’ll be putting our grassroots power toward electing a gun sense majority in November.”

A recent 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% of 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 

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 released two digital ads urging lawmakers to prioritize common-sense gun safety measures. The latest ad buy is 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. 

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.  

VIEW THE AD, “Ignored Our Safety: Iowa,” HERE. 

The ad text reads:

Voters Demanded the Iowa Legislature Act on Gun Safety and Pass an Extreme Risk Law

Instead, IA Republicans Enacted Gun Laws that Weakened Gun Safety.

Pledge to Vote Out Lawmakers Who Oppose Gun Safety

Earlier this year, Iowa Moms Demand Action volunteers held their annual advocacy day, with over 75 mothers and others, gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike advocating for gun sense — through email, calls, letters, and social media. Over the session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers sent nearly 800 emails to Iowa Lawmakers urging them to pass a life-saving extreme risk bill that was introduced in the House.

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