Auchincloss launches PAC campaign push for gun safety allies [videos]

U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Newton, is making gun reform a focal point of his 2024 campaign efforts. And he’s doing so with one thing Congress understands: campaign cash.

Auchincloss, who so far is running unopposed this year for reelection to a third term in Congress, is using his political action committee—Beyond Thoughts and Prayers PAC—to help Democratic candidates who support gun control legislation.

He’s targeting districts with Republican representatives that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020 and other districts nationwide with polling that favors gun control legislation.

“We can galvanize people behind this issue in these swing districts,” Auchincloss said to a crowd of supporters at a home in Newton Centre Thursday night. “Particularly moms, particularly parents, who are sick of being afraid for their children when they go to school or to the supermarket and are fed up with the answers they’re getting from their representatives.”

Auchincloss is hoping to help enough Democrats win in swing districts in November that the party wins the House majority.

Auchincloss, who was elected to represent the Massachusetts 4th District in 2020, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for fellow Democrats nationwide in the 2022 election cycle with his MA4Dems PAC.

Auchincloss’s Beyond Thoughts and Prayers PAC is also aimed at finding Democrats to sponsor three pieces of legislation: the Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2023, Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act of 2023, and Ethan’s Law (requiring safe gun storage, named after a Connecticut child who was killed by an unsecured gun).

“And by the way, the kind of majority in Congress that votes to ban assault weapons is the kind of majority in Congress that also does things like codify Roe v. Wade as the national law of the land, and make climate action and clean energy investment a priority, and votes to certify election results when elections get dicey, things like that,” Auchincloss said.

Guest from Georgia

Auchincloss was joined Thursday night by fellow House member Lucy McBath, who represents Georgia’s 7th District.

McBath was a flight attendant for 30 years. On Black Friday in 2012, her son, Jordan, was shot and killed at a gas station in Florida.

McBath became a gun safety advocate, serving as both national spokesperson and faith and outreach leader for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“I believe in responsible gun ownership, but you have got to have some commonsense measures in our existing gun laws,” McBath said.

In 2017, after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 people dead, McBath decided to run for Congress in the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Those children that were running out of that school, those children that were murdered—they were the same age as my son,” she said.

She launched what was thought to be a longshot bid for the seat once held by former Speaker Newt Gingrich. She won that seat, despite being a Black woman who ran on a gun reform platform in what she calls “ruby-red Georgia.”

“Somebody’s got to stand up for our communities, because I don’t want you to be me,” McBath said. “I don’t want any of you to be me. We deserve to be able to live in this country freely. Not afraid to go to our churches, our synagogues. Not afraid to go to the movies, not afraid to go to the park. And our children deserve to go to school and not be afraid for their lives.”