Campaigns

Gun safety group hits Democrats and Republicans on background check vote

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is running digital ads in seven districts

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is running digital ads urging Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton’s constituents to contact him about his vote against expanded background checks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is running digital ads to try to hold accountable lawmakers who voted against expanding background checks in the House this week. 

The ads, obtained first by Roll Call, target five Republicans who voted against the so-called Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019, as well as the two Democrats who opposed it. The legislation would require background checks for all gun sales between private individuals.

Backed by a $200,000 buy, the ads line up with states with senators who Everytown thinks might be moved to support similar legislation in the Senate.

The House approved the bill 240-190 on Wednesday, the first time in decades the chamber had passed stand-alone gun control legislation. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure, many of them from more moderate or suburban districts

Facebook ads direct constituents to contact their representatives. “Rep. Tipton sided with the gun lobby,” reads one message running against Colorado Republican Scott Tipton

Besides Tipton, Everytown is running ads against GOP Reps. Troy Balderson and Steve Chabot of Ohio, George Holding of North Carolina and Ross Spano of Florida. Democratic Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota, both of whom bucked their party on the vote, are the subject of similar ads. 

“For those elected leaders who put the gun lobby ahead of the safety of their constituents, we’re sending a clear message: Do so at your own peril,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement.

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent $30 million on races up and down the ballot in 2018. 

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