Gun control advocates are claiming victory in the midterm elections, saying the issue helped tip the balance in a number of races across the country.
“The big story of the night was that gun safety won,” said Brynne Craig, the political director for Everytown for Gun Safety, the group co-founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The group put $30 million into efforts to elect pro-gun control members of Congress, governors, attorneys general, and state legislators, including $8 million for top congressional races like Virginia’s 10th District, where Democrat Jennifer Wexton defeated GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, one of the most prominent gun control advocates in the country, said that for the first time ever, candidates aggressively ran on “gun safety” platforms and won.
“We’re committed to bringing the same fight that we brought to the 2018 midterms to the new Congress,” said Ms. Giffords, who was gravely wounded by a deranged gunman in 2011. “Change is on the horizon.”
Democrat Dean Phillips, who defeated GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen in a closely-watched contest in Minnesota, thanked the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for supporting his candidacy.
“All throughout this campaign, we’ve heard from voters that they want someone who will stand up for gun safety and against the gun lobby who want to keep the status quo,” Mr. Phillips said in a statement released by the group.
But Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, didn’t see things the same way, saying President Trump was arguably a bigger factor than guns.
“The Democrats kind of stayed away from guns, if you think about it — they were focused on health care,” he said. “The Senate just got stronger, so how do they explain that?”