Women are winning the fight for gun safety
Over the past decade, alongside heroic survivors of gun violence, Moms Demand Action has helped move dozens gun safety laws in states across the country, including background check legislation, laws to disarm domestic abusers, and extreme risk laws. We have also worked in state houses to stop the dangerous NRA program, and we helped stop them from passing its top federal priority– covert reciprocity – after the election of Donald Trump when Republicans controlled Congress. And we’re working to help drive innovative policies through school boards, city councils, and state legislatures that will save lives. Just this summer New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Californiaand Rhode Island have passed important new laws and ordinances to help prevent gun violence, and more are on the way.
Back when I started Moms Demand Action in 2012, gun safety was a third-rate political issue. The elected officials, beholden to the gun lobby, chose inaction because they were afraid of the NRA. In fact, a quarter of congressional Democrats had earned an A grade from the NRA for their votes in favor of the gun lobby’s priorities. Today none doand in passing the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, even Republican lawmakers openly stood up to the downsized gun lobby and stood on the side of gun safety.
Elected representatives on both sides of the aisle are beginning to realize that, now in the United States, working to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country is not just good policy; it is also good policy. This is in large part because of the work we have done over the past decade with survivors of gun violence to transform Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action into an unprecedented grassroots army. Our movement is stronger than it has ever been at a time when the political power of the NRA is a shadow of its former self due to legal woes.
After the Senate passed the first federal gun safety legislation in a generation on June 24 of this year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime NRA supporter, was asked about the reasons why he joined 14 other Republicans in voting for the bipartisan bill. “It’s no secret that we’ve lost ground in suburban areas,” McConnell replied.