Washington, D.C., May 24, 2019 — Two years after voters in Virginia elected a wide range of pro-gun violence prevention members to the House of Delegates, and just six months after a historic midterm election that saw Reps. Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton replace NRA A-rated members of Congress, Brady is announcing its first set of 2019 endorsements in the Commonwealth. The organization officially endorsed Sen. Dick Saslaw for State Senate, as well as Dan Helmer and Sheila Bynum-Coleman for the House of Delegates.
- Sen. Dick Saslaw (SD-35) has over 40 years of experience in Virginia state government and is positioned to lead the General Assembly in securing passage of historic gun safety legislation as Senate Majority Leader. Sen. Saslaw will be a staunch advocate for gun violence prevention including supporting expanded background checks and a civilian ban on assault-style weapons.
- Dan Helmer (HD-40) knows from his first-hand experience in the Army the importance of common sense gun reform in Virginia. He will be a leader in the Commonwealth to close loopholes that allow those who present a danger to themselves or others to access firearms.
- Sheila Bynum-Coleman (HD-66) is challenging Rep. Kirk Cox, the Speaker of the House responsible for blocking gun violence prevention legislation in Virginia. Sheila was personally impacted by gun violence when her daughter was shot in August 2016. An innocent bystander, her daughter was leaving a party when two people began shooting at each other. She was shot through the shoulder and barely avoided being fatally shot through the face. In stark contrast to Speaker Cox, Sheila’s experience underlies her firm commitment to ending gun violence and keeping Virginia’s communities safe.
“Change happens when we take action, and we are committed to taking action in Virginia,” stated Virginia native and resident Kris Brown, president of Brady. “In 2017, we came a coin flip away from a state government committed to preventing gun violence. In 2019, we’re going to elect a gun safety majority to the General Assembly and finally ensure that people are protected before gun industry profits. We’re proud to support these gun violence prevention champions for office, and we look forward to working with them through November and beyond.”
In 2018, Brady-endorsed candidates ran and won on gun violence prevention platforms, prioritizing common sense policies including expanding background checks on gun sales, banning assault weapons, and implementing extreme risk laws. Internal polling shows that nearly two-thirds of Virginians in key districts support common-sense measures like banning assault weapons, proving that the issue will play a key role in 2019 with the entire State Senate and House of Delegates up for election.
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.