A gun-control advocacy group plans to launch $200,000 in digital ads targeting members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Maine’s newest congressman, who voted last week against expanding private sale background checks. U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from Maine’s 2nd District, voted against HR 8, which would expand background checks on all gun sales, including private transfers.
Everytown for Gun Safety, with support from Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety in America, will focus on seven members of the House who opposed HR 8 — four Republicans and two Democrats — in their Facebook advertisements, which direct constituents to contact their elected representatives and voice their concerns.
Maine’s freshman congressman, one of two Democrats to vote against the bill, represents the state’s most rural district, whose constituents voted against the Question 3 referendum in 2016, Golden said last week. He called HR 8 it a “mirror image” of Question 3, citing its limit on personal transfers as “a cause of concern for me.”
“For those elected leaders who put the gun lobby ahead of the safety of their constituents, we’re sending a clear message: do so at your own peril,” Everytown President John Feinblatt said in a prepared statement that Golden is likely to point to in a re-election campaign.
The Democratic-controlled House passed the bill handily. It now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it’s expected to die.
In a statement Monday, Golden said he stands by his vote. “Mainers in every county in my district were very clear,” he said. “They don’t support expanding background checks to make some transfers between friends and family illegal.”