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Candidates Pledge to Fight For Gun Safety at Historic Presidential Forum

August 10, 2019

Sixteen Democratic Candidates Participated in the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Presidential Gun Sense Forum, One Week After Tragic Mass Shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio

DES MOINES – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s Presidential Gun Sense Forum concluded today with nearly all of the major Democratic candidates for President appearing in person at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines to address the organization’s membership, including survivors of gun violence and volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, grassroots arms of Everytown. 

The sixteen candidates in attendance each discussed their commitment to gun safety, and plans to keep Americans safe in the wake of the tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio and the daily gun violence that kills 100 Americans every day and wounds hundreds more. 

The historic Gun Sense Forum featured the following Democratic presidential candidates: 

  • Senator Michael Bennet 
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Governor Steve Bullock
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Governor Jay Inslee
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Representative Tim Ryan
  • Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

Senator Cory Booker, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, businessman Tom Steyer, former Rep. John Delaney, former Rep. Joe Sestak and Rep. Seth Moulton addressed members through video messages. 

“What we saw today is proof positive that gun safety is no longer a third rail of politics,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. “Think back eight or 12 years ago, and this kind of forum would have been impossible. Sixteen Democratic candidates spoke directly to voters today about their gun safety plans, because the public demands it.”

“The weekend after 22 people were shot and killed in El Paso and nine were shot and killed in Dayton, the gun violence prevention movement showed its strength,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Going into 2020, this movement is stronger and larger than ever. We will do whatever it takes to get a Gun Sense Candidate in the White House.”

Former New York City Mayor and founder of Everytown for Gun Safety Michael R. Bloomberg also addressed the audience, as did gun violence survivor Brenda Moss and Moms Demand Action’s Iowa volunteer chapter leader, Katie Albrecht. 

About 700 members of the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, who are also part of Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network, joined the forum in Des Moines. Many delivered remarks and asked questions of the presidential candidates throughout the forum.

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