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New Politico Article Highlights Power of Gun Safety Messaging in Midterm Election

September 20, 2022

A new POLITICO article today highlighted the power that gun safety messaging can play in the midterm elections. After the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act earlier this year, the contrast between candidates who are on the side of public safety and those who are on the side of the gun lobby couldn’t be starker. In fact, as opponents try to highlight rising crime, gun safety champions have the opportunity to flip the frame and hammer their opponents on how opposing gun safety laws puts our communities and law enforcement at risk. 

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund recently conducted polling among nearly 18,000 voters to identify the most effective messaging on gun safety. The most effective messaging on gun safety included:

  • Requiring background checks on all gun sales and opposing the carrying of concealed handguns with no permit, no firearms training, and no questions asked;
  • Red Flag laws, which give families and law enforcement a way to temporarily remove guns from someone when they pose a serious threat to themselves or others; and
  • Laws that prevent domestic abusers from possessing firearms, especially in the context of protecting our communities and law enforcement.

More from POLITICO

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the gun safety group founded and primarily funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is now priming pushback against the GOP on guns — a strategy bolstered by a research project including interviews of nearly 18,000 likely voters across seven battleground states this summer in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre.

The project tested messages that explicitly linked anti-gun violence measures — including background checks on gun sales and red flag laws — with crime and public safety, including the safety of law enforcement officers. The results showed that putting that lens over gun safety issues boosted support for Democratic candidates, not only among the party base but among traditional swing voters the party needs to keep governorships and Senate and House seats this year.

Tying gun safety, crime and law enforcement together aims “to reset that narrative” that have traditionally put Democrats on the defense, said Charlie Kelly, a senior political adviser to Everytown. That was especially true in 2020, when slogans like “defund the police,” which were popular among activists on the left but not among voters in general, were wielded against Democrats in races around the country.

Read the full story here.

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