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FAQ

ABOUT THE CALLS:

What should I expect when calling my representatives for the first time?

You will either reach a voicemail box or a real person, typically a young staff assistant or intern. Their job is to  take down the core of your ask, ie: vote yes or no on bill X. They may ask you your name and address to confirm you are a constituent, but generally don’t engage in much conversation. Rarely, because these are human beings not robots, they do make comments! Take these comments with a grain of salt and don’t feel obliged to engage or respond - they are not official communications from the office. 

 

Do I have to say anything else besides the script?

Nope! 

 

Do I have to stick to the script?

Nope! It is just provided to be helpful. All they need is your name, address, the bill number you’re calling about, and whether you support or oppose it. Anything else you want to add or include is up to you. 

 

Should I reference the S or HR bill number or both?

When you are calling a Senate office use the “S” number, when you call a House office, use the “HR” number.

 

Can I mention multiple bills or topics in my call?

Calling your reps is your opportunity to express to your elected representative the issues you care about. If you are going to mention multiple bills, our recommendation is to have those bill numbers prepared and efficiently list them off. 

 

What if they ask me questions I don't know the answer to?

Don’t worry, it’s unlikely you will be asked for anything beyond your name, address, and the bill you are calling about (and that info is in the script!) And remember,as a voting member of the public, you are entitled to call your representative and share your thoughts. Your values are enough.  And if they do ask something else, you can always say you don’t know!

 

Why do they need my contact information? Do I have to provide my full address or phone number?

Offices use this information to verify that you are a constituent and may also send you responses to your calls. Provide what you are comfortable with, but remember that Members of Congress are, at the end of the day, incentivized to do what their constituents want because those are the people who could vote for them in their next election.

 

How do I find my representatives' contact information?

Enter your address at this website to find contact information for all of your elected officials. We suggested saving the numbers for your 2 U.S. Senators and 1 U.S. Representative in your phone for easy calling.

 

Should I call their DC office, their local office, or both?

Call their DC office first. If you are unable to reach a person or leave a voicemail, contact the local office. You can find those numbers on your representative’s website.

 

Do I have to speak to a person?

Talking to a person is preferable, but voicemails are better than nothing.  Speaking to a person helps ensure  your opinion is being marked down and it can create a sense of political momentum within the office.

 

Is it okay to leave a voicemail?

Yes! Offices go through their voicemails and mark down those constituent communications too. 

 

What if no one answers or their voicemail box is full? 

Try calling one of their local offices in your state. You can typically find these phone numbers on your elected office’s website.

 

Can I call outside of business hours?

Yes!  Any action is better than no action, so if you can send an email or call and leave a voicemail outside of business hours - that’s great!

 

My Representative already supports common sense gun control. Should I still call?

Yes! There are a lot of bills pending in Congress, and your calls tell them that  we don’t want them to merely co-sponsor a bill, we want them to fight. There is always more they can do - from rallying their colleagues and speaking out in the media to even leveraging procedural rules to force a vote on the floor.  When they hear from us, it empowers them, pushes them, and inspires them to do more.

 

My Representative is a pro-gun extremist. What’s the point in calling? 

Even if it feels hopeless now, your call contributes to the long-term goal of changing the calculus for how these members vote on issues that matter to us. We need to communicate that if they continue supporting pro-gun and anti-child policies, they will eventually get voted out. Members talk, staff talks, and people change.

 

Should I call representatives from other states or districts?

Members of Congress are elected to represent the interests of their constituents, we advise calling who you vote for.   

 

Do phone calls really make a difference?

Yes. The founder of FFS, Emily Amick, used to work as a lawyer in the Senate and can share from personal experience the importance of these calls. Offices know that you have to care *a lot* about an issue to go out of your way to call. That means you probably care enough to vote based on the member’s position on this bill. It also helps shape the member’s view of what the public is starting to care a lot about - and public opinion is very influential in driving media coverage and votes.

Last summer after the Uvalde shooting, public outcry drove Congress to pass the first significant bipartisan legislation to fight gun violence in nearly 26 years - the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. We need more people making calls all the time.  Civic engagement needs to be a daily habit not a yearly panic attack. 

 

How often should I call?

Every day you can, M-F. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.


 

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN:

What is the goal of the #PhoneCallsNoFlowers campaign?

We’re encouraging moms to ask their loved ones to call Congress instead of giving them flowers this Mother’s Day. More specifically, we’re hoping (1) to get more people posting on social media about the need for common sense gun reform and (2) to drive phone calls to Congress asking for universal background checks.

 

What makes Mother’s Day the right holiday to talk about guns?

Guns have become the #1 killer of American children, so it’s impossible to ignore parents’ roll in this political conversation. While this issue deserves attention every day of the year, we hope Mother’s Day in particular will inspire people to take action. Think of it as moms asking for one of the most meaningful gifts in the world: your  help keeping their kids safe.

Why is this campaign focused on universal background checks specifically?

Gun reform is complex and there are lots of changes we should be encouraging Congress to implement. However, campaigns like this often work best when the request is focused on one, speicific  goal. So this time we’ve chosen universal background checks, specifically HR 715, because it has bipartisan support. 

 

Shouldn't everyone care about this issue, not just moms?

For sure! That’s why the premise of the campaign is to use the Mother’s Day holiday as an opportunity to get everyone (dads, kids, grandparents, friends, etc) involved too. Moms shouldn’t be the only ones calling or posting about this issue.  We hope to do other campaigns about guns and other important issues in the future too. 

 

Why are you encouraging people to post on social media?

We believe that social media is the modern public square - and building social media campaigns is a powerful tool to shape public policy. The more people that share this campaign, the more people who learn about calling their reps & the more calls going to Congress about this important issue! 

 

What should I post?

You should post whatever you think best expresses your values, but there are two specific types of posts that we’re encouraging for this campaign specifically:

  1. Share about the #PhoneCallsNotFlowers campaign and tag us (@ForFactsSake_). Express why gun reform is important to you, and what you’re asking people to do.

  2. Screenshot your phone call logs showing you called your reps and post them to social media, tag #PhoneCallsNotFlowers and @ForFactsSake_!

 

Can you help me figure out what to post?

Gladly! We’ve got plenty of content you can reshare from @ForFactsSake_ or you can search for content under the #PhoneCallsNotFlowers hashtag and reshare anything that catches your eye. Mostly we want you to post what feels right and personal to you. 

 

Okay, but can I still ask for flowers on Mother’s Day too?

Um, of course! Moms deserve to be celebrated however they wish on Mother’s Day. We’re just asking them to request these phone calls to their representatives too. The great thing about making phone calls is that they’re easy, quick, and free to do, so they won’t eat into anyone’s bouquet budget.


 

ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED:

 

How can I get more involved in gun advocacy in my state?

The easiest way is to look for and join your local Moms Demand Action chapter (everyone is invited).

 

Where can I find information on gun laws in my state?

Visit this scorecard from Giffords, the organization started by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords after she was shot in a mass shooting. 

 

I think gun-owners should be doing more to fight for common sense gun reform!

Yup, us too. Check out the org 97 percent.

 

How can I support politically active Gen Z on this issue?

Get on TikTok and start watching and liking their stuff! A good org to start with is March For Our Lives

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