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NAT’L – GUN CONTROL – Gun control groups spend big in 2020

The nation’s most prominent gun control advocacy groups are spending big for 2020, outpacing the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) in what both sides see as a crucial election. Groups including Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, the group formed by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), have announced ambitious plans as they aim to capitalize on a successful 2018 midterm cycle that saw a number of gun control advocates elected to Congress. And the moves come at a time when the NRA finds itself reeling from a year of high-profile departures and infighting over allegations of financial misconduct. Everytown, the group co-founded by Democratic presidential contender and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, alone plans to spend at least $60 million in the 2020 elections, nearly double what the NRA spent in the last presidential contest. The sister PAC for Brady, the nation’s oldest anti-gun violence advocacy group, gave over $500,000 to candidates in 2019, according to the group. This year they intend to spend more than $3.5 million and invest in 125 House, Senate and state races, focusing in particular on North Carolina and Texas. “Everything is going to go out. I want to have no gas in the tank after the election,” Brian Lemek, the PAC’s executive director, told The Hill, highlighting the high stakes. The groups are also fundraising aggressively. Brady PAC raised more than $900,000 last year, according to the group. They already have nearly 100,000 donors giving an average of $12. Giffords, meanwhile, has already spent more than $500,000 on paid advertising in Colorado alone, where one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Republicans, Sen. Cory Gardner, is up for reelection. And the group has already run $750,000 on national advertisements calling for Senate action on gun control, promoted videos with presidential candidates addressing gun violence and held a forum alongside the March for Our Lives anti-violence rally.  [full article]

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