President Donald Trump has ended gun control talks amid an impeachment inquiry from Democrats, but one prominent group is continuing a pressure campaign against Florida Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio even though neither of them are on the ballot in 2020.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a pro-gun-control group backed by billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced Monday that it plans to spend $200,000 on digital advertising against Republican senators in 10 states, including Florida.
The push also includes a Moms Demand Action event in Orlando on Wednesday, where Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Winter Park, and survivors of guns violence will urge Rubio and Scott to pass gun control bills in the U.S. Senate that have passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
“The Senate’s delay on gun safety has a body count, and the gun safety movement will not stand silent while lawmakers try to run out the clock,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown is committed to amplifying the voices of the growing majority of Americans who are demanding background check and red flag laws — and who will hold accountable those lawmakers who defy the people’s will.”
But Republican lawmakers have deferred any action on guns to the president, who indicated this week that talks are off the table while House Democrats pursue an impeachment inquiry.
“We can’t talk about gun regulation. We can’t talk about anything because frankly they’re [Democrats] so tied up. They’re so screwed up,” Trump said last week.
The recent push on gun control came after August mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, but no bill in response to those shootings has been signed into law at the federal level.
The October ad buy comes after the group spent $1 million in August on digital and TV ads in the same 10 states, which feature competitive 2020 Senate elections or are crucial for both parties in the presidential election. The ads will run in Florida, Colorado, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
“Our senators are hiding behind rhetoric while our children are hiding under their desks,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We need our senators to take a vote to end this crisis. If they don’t, we will take their jobs.”