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ICYMI: Clear Contrast on Gun Safety During Virginia Governor’s Debate Last Night

September 29, 2021

Everytown Has Pledged To Spend Upwards Of $1.8 Million To Protect Virginia’s Gun Sense Trifecta This Year

Last Week, Everytown Launched New TV Ad With McAuliffe Campaign Featuring Gun Violence Survivor

ALEXANDRIA Va. – During last night’s gubernatorial debate, there was a clear contrast on gun safety, as gun sense champion former Gov. Terry McAuliffe detailed how anti-gun safety extremist Glenn Youngkin would roll back all gun safety laws in Virginia, which would put families and law enforcement at risk — and Youngkin didn’t even try to deny it. Instead, Youngkin lied about Terry McAuliffe’s record in an attempt to continue hiding his extremist gun platform from voters. The truth is simple: Terry McAuliffe made Virginia the safest large state in the country as governor – investing in law enforcement and supporting strong gun safety laws to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals and domestic abusers. Glenn Youngkin would roll back this progress and make Virginia less safe as governor.

A transcript of the moment from the debate, emphasis added: 

MCAULIFFE: I’m proud. I’m the first governor ever to become an honorary sheriff from the sheriff’s association. But if you want to talk about keeping people safe, we gotta keep guns off the street. And Glenn and I differ: he has said publicly that there’s not one single gun protection bill that he supports. And then he said, “let me be clear, none.” We’ve passed background checks and I support it. After the tragedies of Virginia Beach and Virginia Tech, we need to get guns off the streets. Today in Virginia, if a spouse goes on social media and says I am going to kill my spouse, we can go in and take that gun away. Glenn Youngkin will roll back all common-sense gun protections. So he’ll not have background checks, and guess what, criminals will get guns, they’ll kill civilians, and they’ll kill law enforcement. He is too dangerous to be Governor of the commonwealth. 

Youngkin, Donald Trump’s handpicked candidate, opposes all gun safety laws, including background checks on all gun sales. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and he has proudly  pledged to “stand up against” and veto any and all common sense gun safety laws passed by Virginia’s legislature. That includes laws intended to disarm violent domestic abusers, like the law passed last year that prohibits a person convicted of assault and battery of a family member from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm for three years following their conviction. Youngkin has also clearly stated there is no common-sense gun safety legislation he would support, which would lead to more guns on the Commonwealth’s streets and put Virginians’ lives at risk. 

After the 2019 Virginia Beach mass shooting, polls showed that gun safety was the number one issue for Virginia voters. Everytown made major investments in Virginia in the 2019 elections, buying TV, digital, and mail advertising and activating its grassroots network to make sure voters knew who was on the side of gun safety and who was on the side of the gun lobby. And Virginians voted for gun safety, creating gun sense majorities in Virginia for the first time in nearly 25 years. The legislature then passed a suite of gun safety reforms, including landmark legislation to require background checks on all gun sales.

McAuliffe is running on a strong platform of not only supporting Virginia’s common-sense gun safety legislation passed in the last two years but also continuing to build on this progress, by expanding Virginia’s background check law and keeping guns out of the hands of those convicted of hate crimes. Everytown has pledged to spend upwards of $1.8 million and is mobilizing its Moms Demand Action volunteer network to elect gun sense champions Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, and Mark Herring and keep a gun sense majority in the House of Delegates. 


Paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. Authorized by Terry McAuliffe, candidate for Governor. Supports Terry McAuliffe.

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