Washington D.C., November 8, 2017 — According to exit polls, gun violence prevention was one of the most important issues for voters in a closely watched election in Virginia, where Brady-endorsed candidate Ralph Northam soundly defeated his NRA-backed opponent in the Gubernatorial race. Brady-backed candidate Chris Hurst, a staunch gun violence prevention advocate, was elected delegate in a rural VA district, undoubtedly because voters sided with him on the issue guns. Delegate-elect Hurst lost his fiancée, Alison Parker, to a gunman who shot and killed her and a cameraman on live television. In New Jersey, Brady-endorsed Gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy won on a strong GVP platform, succeeding in his race for governor. In addition, five out of six Brady-backed candidates in the New Jersey legislature also won their elections. In total, eight Brady-backed candidates won their important races.
In response to the elections, Kris Brown, co-President of Brady said, "The people have spoken and they have said #ENOUGH! This record upset victory by Brady-endorsed candidates is a referendum on how we approach and prioritize gun violence prevention in America. NRA-backed candidates and elected officials, including President Trump, should take heed: if you make protecting the NRA a priority over protecting the safety of the American people, it is time to look for another job."
The election of these gun violence prevention candidates comes on the heels of two of the deadliest mass shootings in our nation's history, both of which raised important questions about sensible gun laws that save lives. In Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured, the shooter used an accessory called a “bump stock” to circumvent the law and turn a semi-automatic weapon into the functional equivalent of a machine gun. Just this week in Texas, a man, who due to his violent criminal history, was barred under federal law from owning and purchasing guns had at least three firearms, one of which he used to kill 26 people in a rural church.
According to Brady co-President Avery Gardiner, "Strong state laws and policies save lives. We look forward to working with the new leaders in Virginia and New Jersey on common-sense solutions that will reduce gun violence. Congratulations to these great candidates. Let’s get to work!"
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.