“There’s no question 2018 is stacking up as the year candidates are running on gun safety in order to win elections,” said John Feinblatt of Everytown for Gun Safety.
When Democrat Chrissy Houlahan began running for Congress in Pennsylvania, people told the military veteran and former high school teacher to stay away from one topic: Gun control. She ignored the advice. Since she announced her candidacy, there have been a rash of mass shootings, including the one in February in Parkland, Fl. Supporting major gun-control policies, she has been endorsed by gun-safety groups and is favored to win a newly redrawn seat that in its last configuration has been long held by Republicans, reports Philly.com. The shift Houlahan noticed in the Sixth District is one that activists say is echoed nationwide. Gun control, once considered a third rail in U.S. politics, has emerged as a prominent issue, particularly in several key congressional districts.
Prospects for passing gun-control bills in Congress would improve immensely if Democrats capture the 23 seats they need to flip the House – which some polls suggest they might do – and gun-control platforms might improve their prospects. For many Republicans, gun rights remain a strong issue — but a lower-profile one this year. The National Rifle Association has spent more than $6 million so far, significantly less than its double-digit spends in past elections and than the $20 million being spent for the midterms by Everytown for Gun Safety. The latest Gallup Poll showed that more than 60 percent of Americans favor stricter gun control. It’s “one of the most defining issues for Democrats running for Congress and to retake the House this cycle,” said Peter Ambler of the Giffords gun-control organization. Guns have become an issue in some gubernatorial races, such as in Nevada, Florida, and Georgia. “There’s no question 2018 is stacking up as the year candidates are running on gun safety in order to win elections,” said John Feinblatt of Everytown for Gun Safety.