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DLCC Responds to Virginia NRA Town Halls with Gun Safety Ads

DLCC Responds to Virginia NRA Town Halls with Gun Safety Ads

WASHINGTON — In response to Virginia's Republican legislators holding town halls organized by the gun lobby, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is launching a series of digital ads through its Legislative Majority PAC targeting vulnerable Republicans on gun safety. 
“Republican legislators are rolling out the welcome mat for the gun lobby while Virginia Beach still mourns the 12 lives lost. It’s shameful,” said Jessica Post, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. “Virginians of both parties overwhelmingly support common-sense gun safety measures like universal background checks — but their Republican legislators have sold out to the gun lobby. If they won’t act in the special session, we’ll make sure voters know their records and hold them accountable this November.” 
The NRA has announced town halls with Senator Bill DeSteph, who represents Senate District 8 in Virginia Beach, on Monday; Senator Bryce Reeves (SD-17) on Wednesday; and Representative Rob Bloxom (HD-100) on Tuesday. 
“As a former naval officer, I take public safety seriously,” said Missy Cotter Smasal, who is challenging DeSteph. “Virginia Beach is forever changed by the devastating mass shooting in May. Bill DeSteph told his constituents it was too soon to take action, but has invited the NRA to our community less than a month after the shooting. His courtship of the gun lobby is dismissive of public safety and his refusal to act to prevent gun violence is unacceptable.”
The DLCC is responding by targeting both of those senators and three other vulnerable Republican senators who have all been supported by the gun lobby. 

  • Bill DeSteph (SD-8)
    • Represents Virginia Beach, where 12 people were murdered in a mass shooting less than a month ago
    • Is a licensed firearms dealer, an obvious conflict of interest preventing him from supporting commonsense gun safety legislation
    • He faces Democrat Missy Cotter Smasal this November, a small business owner and former naval officer who became an advocate for safer schools
    • Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Ralph Northam both won this district
  • Bryce Reeves (SD-17)
    • Received $23,590 in campaign contributions from the gun lobby and firearms industry
    • He faces Democrat Amy Laufer, a middle school teacher and life-long advocate for public education
    • Senator Tim Kaine won this district by 6 points
  • Glen Sturtevant (SD-10)
    • Voted against gun safety legislation in committee during this year’s session
    • He faces Democrat Dr. Ghazala Hashmi, an immigrant and community college administrator 
    • Senator Tim Kaine won this district by 24 points and Governor Ralph Northam won by 15 points
  • Siobhan Dunnavant (SD-12)
    • Received more than $4,500 in campaign contributions from the gun lobby
    • She faces Democrat Debra Rodman, a member of the House of Delegates who fought to expand health care coverage
    • Senator Tim Kaine won this district by 16 points and Governor Ralph Northam won by 5 points
  • Amanda Chase (SD-11)
    • Made headlines when she open-carried a gun into the state capitol to intimidate immigration activists
    • She faces Democrat Amanda Pohl, a social worker and advocate for victims of sexual violence
    • Senator Tim Kaine won this district in 2018


Bill DeSteph Gun Ad