US

New campaign seeks to ban guns at polling places, asks people to report others with firearms

A new gun control campaign aims to use social media to keep guns out of all polling places during the November mid-term elections. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Guns Down America is starting a new campaign to keep guns out of polling places during the November mid-term elections.

Specifically, the campaign wants voters to text “Guns down” to 91990 to report anyone seen with firearms at polling places.  In turn, the information will be sent to “nonpartisan election protection experts,” who may contact police or “send a lawyer to the polling place," according to USA Today.

The campaign appears to target Second Amendment advocates and supporters of President Donald Trump.

Igor Volsky, director of Guns Down America, told USA Today he became concerned about gun owners bringing firearms to political rallies and events ever since Trump was elected.

“Given the troubling political rhetoric we’ve seen over the last two years, and that guns are far too easy to obtain, this campaign will help the majority of Americans who believe that fewer guns keeps us safer fight back and cast their ballots free from fear of intimidation,” Volsky told the news outlet.

But the group has broader goals.

What is the ultimate goal?

“Guns Down is moving our country toward a future with fewer guns by running campaigns to weaken the gun industry, the gun lobby, and the lawmakers who support them,” the organization’s website states.

A slogan on its Facebook page reads: “My freedom doesn’t need a gun.” The page also features posts about various gun-control efforts around the nation.

While voter intimidation is a federal crime, states have different laws concerning firearms in polling places. Only Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas have laws that prohibit guns at polls, according to the report.

In Montana, the Missoula City Council voted this week to ban weapons in polling places and other public places.

The Guns Down America campaign is targeting key districts that have both competitive political races and a high number of gun-owning households. That includes districts in Florida, Texas, Indiana, Nevada, Wisconsin, Colorado and Georgia.

Groups partnering with Guns Down include the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, League of Women Voters of Florida, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, Media Matters and the Center for American Progress.

Anything else?

Volsky told the news outlet this is the start of a “broader campaign to ultimately get guns out of polling places.”

Guns Down America is a sponsor of the Student Gun Control Violence Summit, which is being led by survivors of the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The summit's website states its goal is to “confront the easy availability of military-style automatic weapons, illegal guns, and high capacity magazines, while highlighting that young people are potent and persuasive advocates for change.”

One last thing…
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