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GIFFORDS: TX-23 Loss Shows Gun Lobby Losing Influence Among GOP Voters

Republican primary voters renominated Rep. Tony Gonzales, who voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

WASHINGTON — Today, GIFFORDS, the national gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, released a statement on the defeat of gun influencer (“TheAKguy”) Brandon Herrera in the TX-23 Republican primary runoff election against Rep. Tony Gonzales. Gonzales was a top electoral target of the gun lobby following his vote for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was strongly opposed by the NRA and the gun industry trade association, the National Sports Shooting Foundation. The gun lobby went all-in on Herrera’s campaign. Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights, and Gun Rights America all made independent expenditures and waged aggressive social media campaigns on his behalf. 

“For decades, the gun lobby ruled over the Republican Party by fear and intimidation—if you crossed corporate gun companies, your career in Republican politics was finished. As this election showed, that’s simply not the case anymore.” said GIFFORDS Executive Director Emma Brown. “The vast majority of  gun owners—Republicans and Democrats alike—support measures to keep communities safe. Contrary to the gun lobby’s lies, commonsense gun laws are good policy and good politics—even for Republicans from the reddest of districts.”

A GIFFORDS poll last year found that 76% of voters in battleground states supported the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. In 2022, NPR found that around 80% of gun owners supported universal background checks. 


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