As Democrats took the stage last night for their first debate of the 2020 presidential cycle, one thing was clear: Gun violence prevention will be a marquee issue for the next sixteen months.
“It’s no secret why gun safety was a central focus of the first debate: American voters are demanding answers — and action — on one of the nation’s most urgent public health emergencies,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The key role gun safety is playing in the race for the White House is yet another reminder that gun safety has gone from the third rail of American politics to a top priority for candidates.”
“American families don’t have the option of ignoring gun violence, and neither do political candidates. Voters, particularly American women, are going to go to the polls with this issue in mind,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It’s incumbent upon candidates to prove that they are as committed to this issue as we are, so it’s no wonder that so many of them spoke about gun safety at the debates this week.”’
Some of the debate’s most notable exchanges were in response to moderator questions about gun violence prevention. Here’s some of what the candidates said about tackling the gun violence epidemic in America:
See the full debate transcript from NBC News here.
The 2020 presidential cycle has been notable for the number of candidates proudly embracing gun safety as an issue to run and win on. Gun policy was ranked the top issue Democratic voters wanted to hear about in debates, behind only climate change, in a new Morning Consult/Politico poll released earlier this week.
To help track the latest news on gun policy, Everytown for Gun Safety has launched an interactive tracker:
In Their Own Words, Where the 2020 Candidates Stand on Gun Safety.
Everytown previously released a list of 10 executive actions the next President can take to tackle gun safety. Everytown also previously released this video of 2020 presidential candidates speaking out about their support for gun safety while on the campaign trail.
Last month, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action announced the release of the 2020 Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate questionnaire to all major 2020 presidential candidates. Each candidate has until early July to complete and return the questionnaire in order to be considered for the presidential Gun Sense Candidate distinction this cycle. Questionnaires ask about where the candidates stand on the issues, how candidates are making gun safety a central part of their campaigns and how candidates will lead on gun safety if they win.