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What to Watch For Ahead of Today’s U.S. Senate Debate in North Carolina

September 14, 2020

This evening is the first U.S. Senate debate in North Carolina, where voters will hear from gun extremist Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and gun sense champion Lt. Col. Cal Cunningham. Moms Demand Action volunteers are available for interviews on the role that gun safety will play in this pivotal race.

Here’s what to watch for in this evening’s debate:

  • Will Senator Tillis explain his inaction on gun safety as a Senator, even though thousands of North Carolinians have been shot and killed during his time in office? Tillis has voted against background checks on all gun sales, the bedrock of common-sense gun violence prevention legislation.
  • Does Senator Tillis believe the gun lobby’s extreme agenda represents the interests of most North Carolina gun owners? Polling shows that North Carolina voters broadly agree, by nearly a 2:1 margin, that it is possible to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them while also protecting the rights of gun owners.
  • Will Senator Tillis explain why he’s taken millions from special interests like the gun lobby while carrying their water in the U.S. Senate? According to, the corrupt and beleaguered NRA has spent more than $4.4 million supporting Senator Thom Tillis, making Tillis the top beneficiary of gun lobby money who is running for re-election this cycle. Tillis has also taken hundreds of thousands in support from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, while prioritizing special interests over the health, safety, and security of North Carolina families.

Last month, Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund launched $3.2 million in television and digital ads against Tillis, which highlighted how Tillis has taken money from special interests like the gun lobby and insurance industries, while blocking common-sense gun safety measures like background checks on all gun sales and voting against the interests of his constituents.

In June, Everytown launched Gun Sense Majority: North Carolina – a $5 million financial and grassroots effort dedicated to ensure Vice President Biden wins North Carolina, to defeat Senator Thom Tillis and elect Cal Cunningham in one of the country’s marquee U.S. Senate races, to re-elect Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein, to defeat gun extremist Mark Robinson and elect Yvonne Lewis Holley as Lt. Governor, and to elect gun sense majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, which has ignored North Carolina’s gun violence crisis for years.   

If you’re interested in speaking with a Moms Demand Action volunteer about gun safety and this race, don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]