Case Study

Everytown for Gun Safety

Lobbying, communications, and celebrity engagement for gun safety advocacy.

About the client

Everytown for Gun Safety unites more than 3 million Americans against gun violence, comprising mayors, moms, police officers, teachers, gun-violence survivors, gun owners, actors, artists, and everyday citizens.

Our Work

Raben has worked with Everytown, and its predecessor organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, since 2009. In that time, Raben has played multiple roles, including serving as their D.C. office, spearheading multiple fly-ins of mayors, survivors, and moms, developing their Creative Council, and helping Everytown become a consistent voice in Washington for the gun violence prevention movement. Over the years, the Raben team has helped shape the Mayors’ and Everytown's lobbying and media strategies and has ensured that Everytown’s message is heard in Washington, D.C.

Through policy and communications work, the Raben team has played a leading role in helping Everytown defeat the priorities of the National Rifle Association. For example, in 2009, we spearheaded much of the outreach involved in defeating an amendment that would have established a national concealed carry law, which would have meant that an individual could obtain a permit in a state with few requirements and then carry a gun everywhere in the US without meeting most local requirements. Under extreme time pressure, we successfully convinced senators of both parties to oppose this amendment through email and phone campaigns, direct lobbying, identifying law enforcement allies in key states, media outreach, and recruitment of influential allies, including domestic violence advocates. This was the first time in nearly five years that a key NRA priority had been defeated in a congressional floor vote.

The Raben Group has also assisted Everytown on special projects and campaigns. For example, in 2012, we executive produced the “Demand a Plan” PSA video, in which celebrities like Beyoncé, Jennifer Aniston, Rashida Jones, Julianne Moore, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Ellen DeGeneres, and many others came together to address the crucial need to stop gun violence.

We worked closely with Everytown and Julianne Moore to create the Everytown Creative Council, made up of more than 80 artists, including Yoko Ono, Common, and Kristen Bell. The Creative Council has engaged in a variety of advocacy activities, including attending the Democratic National Convention and visiting campaign workers in Nevada as they advocated for a background check ballot measure. We continue to help support the Creative Council’s work on strategy and engagement.

After the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT, Everytown led the fight to establish a federal background checks policy for virtually all gun sales, to ensure dangerous people could no longer access guns as easily as they do now. The Raben Group executed a multi-phase campaign including direct lobbying, media pitching, television, print, and radio ads, and recruitment of third-party validators to persuade members of Congress to close this gap in federal law. We also coordinated multiple fly-ins for key stakeholders. While this bill did not pass in 2013, it garnered the support of the majority of senators, substantially more than had voted for comprehensive gun reforms during the prior 20 years.

From facilitating relations between key constituencies to reaching out to members of Congress and organizing events, The Raben Group has worked alongside Everytown for many years to push for policies that reduce gun violence and create safer communities.

For a number of years now, Raben has played an important part in helping develop Everytown’s federal policy strategy and in establishing our Creative Council, which brings together prominent cultural voices to speak out against gun violence. For both policy and culture change, we have relied on The Raben Group’s strong relationships, their nimbleness in times of crisis, their shrewd advice, and their willingness to partner with us to save lives by keeping guns out of dangerous hands.

Erika Soto Lamb Chief Communications Officer, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America