February 16, 2018— Today, Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, called out Tyler Tannahill, a candidate for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, for refusing to suspend an AR-15 giveaway in support of his campaign. The weapon is the same type used by the gunman in the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead.
Isabelle James, Giffords Political Director:
“The right to own guns goes hand-in-hand with the responsibility to use them safely and to make sure that our families and our communities are protected. People seeking to lead our country should not be using an election to celebrate the same type of gun that was used this week to menace and gun down innocent children in a Florida school. Our nation is still reeling from this horrible tragedy, the right thing to do would be to suspend the raffle.Then we could have a serious conversation about bringing guns into our homes and the steps we as a society must take to make sure guns stay out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
“The reality is, many candidates are not serious about our nation’s gun violence crisis. This should not be hard. Whether or not you agree that rifles should be raffled off, or even belong on the streets of our communities, we can all agree that when they land in the wrong hands the results are devastating. We must do more to prevent these horrific acts.
“We need to elect leaders who understand what it means to own and respect a gun; leaders who are serious about fighting for solutions save lives. We can protect our children and protect the rights of gun owners at the same time, but to do that we need candidates who are focused on promoting gun safety – not promoting dangerous campaign stunts.”