Amidst intense voter interest in gun safety, Brady nears 100 gun violence prevention champions
Washington, D.C., September 20, 2018 - With less than 50 days until the 2018 midterm elections, voters are preparing to take to the polls in support of candidates committed to reducing gun violence in our country. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence announced its latest round of endorsements, including, together with the organization’s Florida Executive Committee, gun violence prevention champions Andrew Gillum and Chris King for governor and lieutenant governor of Florida.
- Mayor Andrew Gillum has proven himself not just as one of the strongest gun safety candidates in Florida, but nationwide. As mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum took the gun lobby to court and successfully protected the city’s local ordinances banning the firing of firearms in city parks. He supports universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks, and strengthening state laws to close loopholes and keep guns out of dangerous hands. Gillum has stood side-by-side with victims and survivors from mass shootings in Parkland, Orlando, and Jacksonville, and he will fight for those impacted by everyday gun violence in his state.
- Chris King has steadfastly committed to making gun safety a major priority while in office. He has pledged to enact universal background checks for gun purchasers and to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and proposed a plan to fund dedicated research, school safety, and intervention programs to prevent gun violence.
In contrast to Gillum and King, Republican gubernatorial nominee Rep. Ron DeSantis, who has an A rating from the National Rifle Association, would have vetoed bipartisan legislation passed in the wake of the Parkland massacre to prevent future shootings. DeSantis has also supported allowing guns on college campuses and was “receptive” to the idea that Florida Agriculture Chairman Adam Putnam was in fact too slow in approving concealed carry permits. Furthermore, DeSantis earned a “Fail” on his report card from the youth-led gun safety group, Team ENOUGH, for his total lack of support for the Brady Three Point Plan announced after Parkland.
“Andrew Gillum and Chris King have made clear that they want to see Florida’s reputation shift from the ‘Gunshine State’ to being a nationwide leader in preventing gun violence, and we’re proud to stand with them in their election campaign,” stated Marcus Fernandez, Carol Rescigno, and Dana Sanchez-Quist, the executive committee of the Florida chapters of the Brady Campaign. “The choice for Florida voters couldn’t be any clearer. One candidate for governor said he was ‘disappointed’ in efforts to stop mass shootings after the Parkland massacre. The other has stood arm-in-arm with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the fight for change. We know who we’re standing with, and we believe that this November, voters will stand with Andrew Gillum for Governor.”
Additionally, the Brady Campaign endorsed the following nine candidates for Congress: Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. David Price (NC-04), Ammar Campa-Najjar (CA-50), Veronica Escobar (TX-16) Steven Horsford (NV-04), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Donna Shalala (FL-27), and Susan Wild (PA-07).
- Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) has led the fight in Congress for responsible, common-sense gun laws, including strengthening background checks and eliminating assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He has also committed himself to providing law enforcement with the capacity to prevent the spread of illegal guns.
- Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) has sought bipartisan solutions to gun violence while in office, including investing in studying gun violence, banning bump stocks, and improving the background check system. He will continue his efforts as a true gun safety champion on behalf of the people of New Jersey.
- Rep. David Price (NC-04) has always found reasonable gun violence prevention measures and the Second Amendment to go hand in hand. As the Vice Chair of the House Democrats' Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Rep. Price has helped lead the way on common-sense solutions to prevent shootings in our country, including working with local law enforcement to reduce gun violence and removing restrictions on research into the epidemic.
- Ammar Campa-Najjar (CA-50) is seeking to have a sensible conversation about gun safety in America. He has pointed that if members of the military need a background and mental health check and are required to properly store their firearms, it should be no different for civilians who wish to own a gun.
- Veronica Escobar (TX-16) is committed to ensuring that her El Paso community is safe from gun violence. She will also fight in Congress to put an end to the flow of illegal crime guns across the border into Mexico.
- Steven Horsford (NV-04) knows the pain of gun violence firsthand, having lost his father at the age of 19. He will work tirelessly in Congress for expanded background checks and other important gun safety measures to ensure that no other member of his community has to feel that pain.
- Elaine Luria (VA-02) is a Navy commander who has seen up close the devastation that guns can cause. She will prioritize public safety and fight to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, violent criminals, and other dangerous people.
- Donna Shalala (FL-27) was part of the team that passed the 1994 assault weapons ban, and she is committed to doing so again. By expanding background checks and increasing access to mental health services, she will be a leader in Congress for common-sense gun safety efforts.
- Susan Wild (PA-07) knows that no matter what political party her neighbors belong to, every one of them wants to live in a country safe from gun violence. She will work for a new federal assault weapon ban and a universal background check system in Congress, solutions that are simply common sense.
“As we move closer and closer to Election Day, the energy and momentum are on the side of those who want to see a country safe from gun violence,” stated Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign. “These are all fantastic candidates who join an already impressive group of diverse gun safety champions. We look forward to supporting them to victory in November.”
This election cycle, the Brady Campaign is focused on working with and supporting candidates throughout the country who are committed to preventing gun violence. A heavy focus is on whether candidates support Brady’s three-point plan, including expanding Brady background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and passing extreme risk laws.
A resurgent Brady PAC is supporting candidates who commit to making gun violence prevention a top priority and is working to replace candidates who refuse to prioritize the safety of the American public. Brady is doing so through the candidate endorsement process and holding candidates accountable to their questionnaire answers. Brady PAC will target races across the country in support of such candidates, especially in those races targeting candidates who put gun industry profits before the safety of their constituents.
Brady is also focusing heavily on voter registration, particularly of young voters through its student initiative, Team ENOUGH. In addition to its Congressional report cards released this summer on gun safety issues, the student-led group will be holding voter registration events throughout the summer and will work to educate and mobilize high school and university students from now until November. The group is also inviting students across the country to form their own Team ENOUGH groups and host nonpartisan candidate forums.
Last November’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey, where multiple Brady-backed candidates won on a clear platform of gun safety, demonstrated that voters are engaging on the issue and are rejecting those supported by the NRA. And with recent polling showing that half of Americans want gun safety to be Congress’s top priority, it’s clear that this issue will be a leading one throughout the 2018 campaign.
Further endorsements will be announced in the weeks and months to come.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.