PRESS RELEASE from Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Brady Post-Election Report:
Supporters of Sensible Gun Laws Won, Gun Lobby Lost, Gun Issue Lost Its "Wedge"

For Immediate Release:

Contact Communications:

Washington, DC - Across the country, from the Presidential race to U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state races, voters elected candidates supporting sensible gun laws, while gun lobby messages using outdated scare tactics about government seizure of privately-owned guns fell flat, and millions spent by the National Rifle Association went to waste.

How the gun issue played in this election - and worked to the benefit of the majority of Americans that want to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons - is reviewed in a special post-election report being released today by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.  

Entitled “Guns & The 2008 Elections:  Common Sense Gun Laws Won, The NRA Lost, & What it Means,” the 30-page analysis focuses on state-by-state election results in races with Brady and NRA-backed candidates and systematically reviews what happened in states with high gun ownership, and in states where the NRA ran television advertisements.  It tracks the NRA’s expenditures and tactics from the Presidential primaries through the general election, and examines the Obama campaign’s messages and comments on the gun issue, including the infamous “bitter-gate” controversy.

“We know of no political candidate at any level, in any race, who lost because they supported sensible gun laws,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign.  “The voters want to hear pragmatic proposals to reduce gun violence and they know that sensible gun laws won’t hurt legitimate gun owners.”

The report:

The fact that President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden, as well as other supporters of sensible gun laws in U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state races, won convincingly - including in states with heavy rates of gun ownership - shows that support for common sense gun laws is a winning message and not a dangerous political “wedge issue” to be avoided by cautious politicians, the report argues.  Some of those results:

The report shows that the NRA was one of the biggest losers in the 2008 elections: 

“After yet another election in which voters rejected numerous candidates in high-profile races who had prominent NRA support and NRA money, it’s time for politicians and pundits to reject the myth that talking about reasonable restrictions on guns is dangerously controversial,” Helmke said.  “This report makes the case that supporting reasonable limitations on gun ownership is smart politics.”

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As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.