Moderate Democrats have run and won on gun control in red states too. The gun-control activist Lucy McBath, whose son was shot and killed in 2012, now occupies Newt Gingrich’s old seat outside Atlanta. Like Escobar, Representatives Colin Allred and Lizzie Fletcher talked up gun control in their suburban, formerly Republican districts in Texas.
The Senate Democratic caucus is no exception to these changes. This year, almost all of the Democratic candidates in the most competitive races have sought the “Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction,” a rating from Feinblatt’s organization that identifies a candidate as supportive of gun legislation. “People have not noticed how much the Democratic coalition has consolidated around this,” Erickson told me. There may be an assumption “that part of the Democratic coalition is holding us back on this. But that’s no longer true.”
Leaders in the gun-control movement expect to push a Biden-Harris administration to pass legislation requiring comprehensive background checks, and a federal red-flag law that would permit authorities to remove firearms from Americans considered a threat to themselves or others, Feinblatt told me. Maybe, he added, the administration will even revive discussions about an assault-weapons ban.