Press Release

STATEMENT: Giffords Responds to Steve Knight Lying to the Public About Taking NRA Money

September 19, 2018— Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, responded to a report from Mother Jones that Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) lied to a local politics podcast – Talk of Santa Clarita – when he stated the NRA had not recently given him money. In fact, the Federal Election Commission shows the NRA sent Knight’s campaign funds three times this election cycle: $1,000 in July 2017. $1,500 in May 2018, and $2,500 in July 2018.

Peter Ambler, Giffords Executive Director:

“Not only is Steve Knight taking money from the NRA, he’s lying to voters and saying that he’s not. While California has become a leader in gun safety laws, Steve Knight has taken the opposite path in Congress. His record is proof that he’s spent his time in Washington taking votes that would open up the NRA’s coffers, regardless of the cost to Californians. Each time he’s had a chance to vote for gun safety reform, Knight failed. It’s telling that he’d rather obscure the truth to the public. But he can’t hide behind lobbyists any longer. This November, Americans tired of gun lobby politicians will vote to bring gun safety champions like Katie Hill to Congress. There is nothing Knight can do to run away from that fact.”

Days after the Highland High School shooting in Palmdale California, Giffords PAC joined with CoCal Healthcare Coalition to release an ad called “Stand Up for Us” featuring a student from the school, Isabel Pimentel calling out Knight for prioritizing the NRA’s dangerous agenda in Congress over keeping kids safe.

Since his election in 2015, Rep. Knight has consistently earned an “A” rating by the NRA and has taken more than $15,000 in campaign contributions from the gun lobby. Knight is also on Giffords VoteThemOut list and has been featured in other Giffords spots pointing to his consistent support from the NRA.

Congressman Knight’s legislative record proves that he supports the gun lobby’s priorities, including:

  • Supporting Concealed Carry Reciprocity: In December 2017, Knight voted for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill, which drastically undermines California’s strong gun laws and makes it easier for dangerous people to carry concealed, loaded guns in public.

  • Opposing Extreme Risk Protection Orders: While a member of the California State Senate, Knight voted against a gun violence restraining order, which allows law enforcement officers to petition a court directly for an order to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns if there is evidence that they are a danger to themselves or others.

  • Weakening Laws and Procedures Which Keep Guns out of the Hands of People in Crisis: In February 2017, Knight voted for a measure that weakens the current background check system by revoking a rule requiring the Social Security Administration to report the names of certain beneficiaries with severe mental impairments to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The rule helped to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from having access to firearms. In March 2017, Congressman Knight voted for a bill that would make it easier for veterans in crisis to access firearms to access firearms and purge more than 174,000 records from the background check system.