Guns Down 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 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 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 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 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 is pushing FedEx to pull out of the NRA’s Business Alliance, which offers FedEx discounts to NRA members.
- #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.
Meet the Team
Igor Volsky, Founder and Director
Igor Volsky is founder and the Director of Guns Down. 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.
Lance Orchid, Managing Director
Lance Orchid has worked in electoral and issue driven campaigns for over a decade after practicing as a securities lawyer for Hunton & Williams. Orchid spent three years working on gun violence prevention issues after the shootings at Rep. Giffords’ supermarket constituent meeting in Tucson. After managing a national campaign for New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns with over 55 events in every corner of the nation, he went on to serve as the first National Organizing Director for the Fund for a Safer Future in Washington DC. His work on campaigns has focused largely on the field, political, and operations aspects of campaigning. As managing director of Guns Down, Orchid drives procedure and process and oversees the campaigns to ensure that they are executed consistently and with a through-line that pushes the overarching objective of Guns Down. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Tulane University Law School.