Guns Down America formed in the summer of 2016 shortly after the Pulse shooting to demand policies that move the country toward a future with fewer guns. Through bold digital and on-the-ground campaigns, unexpected partnerships, and a sophisticated media strategy, Guns Down America runs campaigns to take down the NRA, shames lawmakers for accepting donations from the gun lobby, and inserts its bold message into the media narrative.
We focus on reducing the number of guns in circulation because that’s what’s necessary to reduce gun violence and, it’s what most Americans support. The gun safety movement has spent years carefully refining a safe, centrist message that dampens enthusiasm among grassroots advocates and makes policy success less likely.
From its conception, Guns Down America recognized the importance of channeling grassroots energy into campaigns urging American corporations to break ties with the NRA. In the aftermath of Parkland, Guns Down America is developing a new stream of work that is designed to educate and empower young people to advocate for bold policies that will truly reduce gun violence.
We need to go after guns themselves to build safer communities with fewer guns.
Guns Down America is taking on the NRA on all sides, by exposing the true cost of its guns-everywhere agenda and challenging those who do business with the NRA. Here’s how we’ve done that so far:
- Stopping Murder Insurance: In October of 2017, we successfully convinced Chubb and Lockton Affinity, two insurers, to stop offering the NRA’s “Carry Guard” policies. This strategic campaign came together in partnership with Color of Change and featured Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. Hundreds of thousands of Americans signed a petition urging the insurers to break ties and their efforts were featured in an exclusive article in the Associated Press and local news stations around the country.
- Demanding a Change at FedEx with Drop the NRA: In December of 2016 we launched a campaign urging FedEx to stop participating in the NRA’s Business Alliance. Guns Down pushed for FedEx to pull out of the NRA’s Business Alliance, which offers FedEx discounts to NRA members. In October of 2018, FedEx ended the discount.
- #GunFreePolls: In the lead-up to the 2016 elections, law enforcement agencies were increasingly concerned about the threat of armed intimidators at polling locations. Guns Down established a helpline for those who witnessed such incidents. Guns Down also relaunched the campaign for the 2018 election.
Meet the Team
Igor Volsky, Founder and Executive Director
Igor Volsky is founder and the Director of Guns Down America. Igor has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, and CNBC television, and he has been a guest on many radio shows. His work on gun violence prevention has appeared in USA Today, U.S. News and World Report and the Orlando Sentinel, among others. In 2011, Forbes named Igor one of their top “30 under 30” in Law & Policy. At Guns Down, he sets the overall strategy and leads our outreach efforts.
Zak Kozberg, Chief of Staff
Zak Kozberg is the Chief of Staff at Guns Down America. Ohio born and bred, Zak has worked on several campaigns for progressive candidates and causes, including Senator Sherrod Brown’s 2012 re-election campaign. He has also served as Scheduling Director to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly and as Deputy Director at the Pittsburgh Film Office, working to attract major film and television production to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Brice Barnes, Development Director
Brice Barnes is a veteran fundraiser and strategist with high-profile political campaign experience that spans local, state, and federal elections. Brice has also served in leadership roles building progressive funding and infrastructure for: Florida’s Amendment 4 Campaign: Restoration of Rights, Parkland Rally in Tallahassee, Florida Democratic Party, US Congresswoman Val Demings, US Congresswoman Alma Adams, US Senator Kay Hagan and Governor Bev Perdue. Also, currently serves on the National Finance Council for the Democratic National Committee.
Silvina Alarcón, Advocacy and Campaigns Director
Silvina Alarcón is the Advocacy and Campaigns Director at Guns Down America. Originally from La Paz, Bolivia Silvina moved to the DC area in early 2000. She began her career as a community organizer for immigration reform during the DREAM Act 2010. For the past 7 years she has worked building field strategies for political campaigns including Obama 2012 and Hillary 2016. She most recently worked on taking back the house as part of the National Field Team at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Clayton Spinney, Digital Associate
Clayton Spinney is a Digital Associate at Guns Down America. He grew up in Maine, where he started his career producing videos that highlighted the local opioid epidemic and rehabilitation programs for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. From there, he transitioned into social media and email marketing and has spent the better part of the last decade creating engaging web content.
Mail: 718 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001