Everytown for Gun Safety is an advocacy group that calls for tougher gun legislation. On Wednesday the group said it will spend $8 million in the state of Texas to support the campaigns of politicians who call for more restrictions on gun ownership.
The group spend $2.5 million in Virginia last year and played a part in electing politicians who are now pushing gun control measures through the Virginia state legislature.
Shannon Watts, founder of the Moms Demand Action group, the grassroots wing of Everytown, said:
“This will be among the largest state investments ever made by Everytown. We’re investing in Texas because the state has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the country.”
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Texas has 12.4 firearms deaths for every 100,000 people, just above the national average of 12.
Some Democrat contenders in Texas argue that years of high-profile mass shootings, including the August massacre of 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, have convinced them to directly confront opponents of stronger gun laws.
Everytown said it would use its money for political advertising and call on upward of 400,000 supporters in the state to canvass neighborhoods and work phone banks for candidates. They intend to focus most of their efforts on getting new voters registered in the suburbs of Dallas and Houston.
Everytown wants to flip the Texas statehouse from Republican to Democrat, like it did in Virginia. This would take retaining all current Democratic seats and picking up nine more. It’s a tall order, but not out of the questions.