Watch a recording of today’s press call HERE.
NEW YORK – Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action held a press call with Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, Minnesota Representative Dave Pinto, Illinois State Representative Maura Hirschauer, and Monisha Henley, Managing Director, State Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety as 2023 state legislative sessions begin in states across the country following a resounding demand for gun safety by voters who elected gun sense champions – including former Moms Demand Action volunteers – up and down the ballot.
“Our volunteers are demanding a seat at the table — and then getting to work passing strong gun laws once they’re in power. This is our winning playbook, and we’ll continue to use it across the country,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, “A decade ago, gun safety was considered a political third rail that lawmakers – under the threat of the wrath of the NRA – would barely touch. Now, the grassroots gun violence prevention movement has completely changed the political calculus so that gun safety is not only good policy – it’s good politics.”
“Last year, we helped pass over 52 gun safety laws in statehouses and defeated dozens of attempts to weaken gun laws across the country — and in 2023 we’re doubling down on this effort to help states lead the way on gun safety,” said Monisha Henly, Managing Director of State Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. “We have a clear mandate from the American people to continue our life-saving work in statehouses. With leaders who have pledged to fight for gun safety holding the majority in the House, Senate, and governors’ mansions in several states, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
“I came to this movement as a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and can say firsthand that these tireless advocates have been laying the groundwork for years to make Illinois’ historic gun safety package possible – showing up at the statehouse year after year to make our voices heard,” said Illinois State Representative Maura Hirschauer. “Now, we’re not just calling for laws, we’re writing and passing them. Gun safety champions and Moms Demand Action volunteers, like myself, have been campaigning, running, and winning across the board.”
“As a prosecutor in my work outside of the Legislature, I see the impacts of gun violence every day, especially on children and families,” said State Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-Minnesota), chair of the Minnesota House Committee on Children and Families Finance and Policy. “That’s why my colleagues and I have again introduced proposals, like criminal background checks and extreme risk protection orders, to keep out of the hands of people who have shown themselves to be dangerous. Now is the time to pass common-sense measures to keep our communities safer from gun violence.”
With new gun sense majorities across the country, Everytown and Moms Demand Action will work with state leaders to push for both fundamental gun safety measures like background checks and an Extreme Risk law in states like Minnesota and Michigan and innovative policies to hold the gun industry accountable for their role in our gun violence crisis in states like Massachusetts, Illinois and Maryland.
Last year, Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund launched “Demand a Seat,” a program to train grassroots volunteers and gun violence survivors to take the next step in their advocacy efforts by running for office and working on campaigns to elect gun sense candidates. Since 2017, hundreds of Moms Demand Action volunteer leaders have run for elected office and dozens have won seats – from town council and school board to U.S. Congress. More than 275 volunteers and gun violence survivors ran in the 2021-22 election cycle and 158 won their races. More information on Demand a Seat can be found here.
Watch a recording of today’s press call here.