Gun control groups seeking to put pressure on vulnerable GOP senators will hold rallies across the country and launch a national ad campaign to urge lawmakers to support universal background checks and a “red flag” law.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) announced on Tuesday that a number of gun control organizations would be holding rallies in all 50 states to push Senate Republicans to move on passing the legislation.
“This Sunday in every state across the country, Moms Demand Action, the Brady Group, other gun [control groups] will hold a rally in every single state so those that care, those that want people to hear that they give a damn, excuse my language, get out there, show them, tell their senators it’s time to act,” Dingell told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. “Let’s show that grass-roots movement from one coast to the other coast and in the heart of the Midwest.”
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, its parent organization Everytown For Gun Safety, and the Brady Campaign are behind the rallies.
“We’re unleashing the full power of our grassroots movement and leading our most aggressive August spending effort ever, to ensure the Senate gets the message and passes background checks and a strong federal ‘Red Flag’ law,” John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement.
Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action also plan to launch close to $1 million in television and digital advertisements aimed at vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection in 2020.
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund will spend $550,000 on digital ads to put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), along with Republican senators in Florida, North Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Texas and Colorado.
The group will also spend $385,000 on national cable and local broadcast spots in Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Kentucky.
Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) are facing particularly tough reelection battles.
Everytown and Moms Demand Action are also pressuring vulnerable senators at a local level, setting up meetings with district staff, as well as holding town halls in states with contested Senate races.
Lawmakers are grappling on how to move forward on combatting gun violence after 31 people were killed in two back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
McConnell has said he would like to have a “discussion” on gun reform when Congress returns from recess in September, despite facing calls from Democrats to reconvene the upper chamber to pass background check legislation.
The majority leader has not vowed to bring gun control legislation to the floor after recess but said he wants to have “a discussion” on gun reform, with background checks “front and center” in the debate.
McConnell’s comments have in turn left Democrats concerned that gun control reform will not be passed in a timely manner.
Mike Lillis contributed to this report