The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Gun Control Supporters From Both Parties Win Senate Seats


Supporters of common sense restrictions on guns, from both political parties, won a number of U.S. Senate seats yesterday.

Senator-Elect Mark Kirk in Illinois is a co-sponsor in the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation to close the gun show loophole. Senator-Elect Dan Coats in Indiana was opposed by the National Rifle Association because of his votes for the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons
Ban in the early 1990s, during his previous service in the Senate. Both
of these wins were pickups by Republicans of Democratic seats.

On the Democratic side, gun control supporters - Senators Barbara Boxer in California; Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand
in New York; Ron Wyden in Oregon, Barbara Mikulski in Maryland and
Daniel Inouye in Hawaii won. Richard Blumenthal in Connecticut, Michael
Bennet in Colorado and Chris Coons in Delaware were elected to the
Senate as well.

"This shows again that support for common sense
gun laws will not hurt candidates at the polls, regardless of political
party," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
and a former Indiana Republican Senate nominee. "A number of
candidates running for the Senate who sided with us on the gun issue

Senator Schumer, who sailed to re-election, has been one
of the gun violence prevention's greatest champions throughout his
political career. Senator Boxer, a longtime supporter of tougher gun
laws, campaigned against Carly Fiorina for her opposition to restricting assault weapons and for opposing restrictions on suspected terrorists buying guns,
and won by a comfortable margin. Senator Wyden has long supported
common-sense gun measures, as have Senators Inouye and Mikulski.

Gillibrand, who became a supporter of, and a leader on, gun control
measures after learning more about gun violence from mayors and police
chiefs across New York following her move from the U.S. House to the
Senate, and was targeted by the gun lobby as a result, thrashed her
Republican opponent. And Bennet, appointed by Colorado's Governor to
finish the term of former Senator Ken Salazar, co-sponsored gun show
loophole legislation and defeated gun rights extremist Ken Buck.

Blumenthal of Connecticut was a strong supporter of sensible gun laws
as the state's Attorney General. Chris Coons, a virtual unknown in
politics a year ago, overwhelmingly defeated NRA-endorsed Christine O'Donnell.

a Republican who served as Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana for three
terms, was not surprised by the results - he's long dismissed the myth
about the gun issue being dangerous for politicians.

"As a
candidate in six primary elections and four general elections in
Indiana, I learned that most voters support candidates who stand up for
common-sense gun laws," Helmke said. "Gun owners and even NRA members
are willing to vote for candidates who will talk clearly about public
safety measures consistent with the reasonable restrictions that the
U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear apply to the Second Amendment."

Brady United formerly known as The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence. We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.