The endorsement comes as part of the Giffords #VoteCourage Campaign to elect gun reform candidates nationwide
September 13, 2018 — Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, announced its endorsement of Ted Deutch in Florida’s 22nd congressional district, Stephanie Murphy in Florida’s seventh congressional district, Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida’s 23rd congressional district, and Val Demings in Florida’s 10th congressional district.
Statement from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords:
“America experienced three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history in just the past year. Over 38,000 people in our country were killed by a gun. Florida has not been immune to this deadly crisis: somebody is killed by a gun in Florida every three hours. Despite this devastating reality, the gun lobby has used its cash and influence to stifle any attempts to pass laws on Capitol Hill to make our schools, streets, and communities safer.
“The Members of Congress we are endorsing today acknowledge the devastating toll of our nation’s gun violence crisis, and they are working to combat it. Their leadership will be critical for our next victories in Congress to save lives and prevent future tragedies. Giffords is proud to endorse Representatives Demings, Deutch, Murphy, and Wasserman Schultz, who have the courage to stand up to the corporate gun lobby and who will never stop working to make Florida communities safer.”
First elected in the wake of the 2016 shooting at Pulse Nightclub within her district, Congresswoman Demings has proven she can be counted on to fight for safer communities. Her experience as the first female chief of the Orlando Police Department has also informed her support for gun safety legislation, including bills to expand background checks, ban assault weapons, prevent stalkers and domestic abusers from possessing firearms, end the effective prohibition on federal research into gun violence, enact extreme risk protection orders, and require all firearms to be traceable by law enforcement. In December, Congresswoman Demings voted to protect Florida communities from dangerous concealed carry legislation — the gun lobby’s number one priority — and has spoken out against proposals to arm teachers.
As the representative in Congress for Parkland, Florida, Congressman Ted Deutch is far too familiar with the tragic consequences of gun violence, and he is a leading voice for common-sense gun safety measures. His support for gun safety began during his tenure in the Florida Senate when he voted against legislation to allow concealed firearms to be kept in vehicles. Congressman Deutch supports expanding background checks, restarting federal research into gun violence, enacting extreme risk protection orders, banning assault weapons, preventing domestic abusers and stalkers from possessing guns, and requiring all firearms to be traceable by law enforcement and have a serial number. He voted against dangerous concealed carry reciprocity legislation — the gun lobby’s top priority — and also introduced bills that would raise the minimum age to buy a rifle to 21 and prevent downloadable guns from being posted online.
Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy won her seat in Congress after the horrific Pulse Nightclub shooting in her community by defeating a 12-term incumbent who had the full support of the gun lobby. In her first term in Congress, she has lived up to her promise to keep Florida families safe by addressing the gun violence crisis. Congresswoman Murphy supports bipartisan legislation to expand background checks on commercial sales, enact extreme risk protection orders, ban assault weapons, and require all firearms to be traceable by law enforcement. Congresswoman Murphy has also been a leader on addressing gun violence as an issue of public health, introducing bipartisan legislation to end the effective prohibition on federal research into gun violence. In December, she stood up for Florida’s communities by voting against the gun lobby’s top legislative priority, concealed carry reciprocity.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been a true gun safety champion for the people of Florida since her election to Congress. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz supports expanding background checks, restarting federal research into gun violence, preventing stalkers and domestic abusers from possessing firearms, enacting extreme risk protection orders, banning assault weapons, and requiring all firearms to be traceable by law enforcement. Most recently, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz helped to introduce legislation to prevent downloadable guns from being posted online. She has also repeatedly voted against dangerous concealed carry reciprocity legislation — the gun lobby’s top priority.
Giffords’ #VoteCourage campaign aims to elect gun safety advocates to Congress and defeat politicians who have historically worked against gun reform, or done nothing at all to prevent gun violence. The political program targets incumbents in mostly suburban districts and uses a mixture of TV and digital advertising, on-the-ground organizing, and a voter registration push to create momentum for meaningful progress on gun safety.
Learn More about the Giffords 2018 political program here.