Press Release

Giffords Launches Second Colorado Ad Pressuring Senator Cory Gardner to Back Universal Background Checks 

Ahead of August 26 town hall, “Be Brave” calls out Senator Gardner for failing to support background checks, the second ad of the campaign

Congresswoman Giffords will host town hall in Aurora with Representatives  Jason Crow, Ed Perlmutter, and Rep. Joe Neguse, March For Our Lives Colorado, and Ceasefire Colorado

August 19, 2019 — Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, today launched a second ad as part of its nearly $750,000 ad campaign pressuring the Senate to hold a vote on the bipartisan background checks bill. The new ad’s release comes ahead of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Aurora visit on August 26, where she will be joined by Representatives Jason Crow, Ed Perlmutter, and Joe Neguse, Ceasefire Colorado, and March For Our Lives Colorado for a town hall to talk about efforts to strengthen federal gun laws and how commonsense gun laws will keep students safe as the school year begins.

“Senate Republicans have run out of excuses for blocking a vote on background checks,” said Peter Ambler, Giffords Executive Director. “Americans are fed up with living in fear that today is the day gunmen will strike their community. They won’t stand for politicians who keep witnessing tragedy after tragedy and refuse to do anything about it. Senator Cory Gardner has a choice: protect the gun lobby and its profits or hold a vote on background checks to protect the people of Colorado.”

WATCH THE COLORADO AD: “Be Brave

“Be Brave” follows the recently launched ad in Colorado calling out Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and pressuring him to push for a vote on HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. Senator Gardner’s extreme fealty to the gun lobby makes him an outlier in a state that has repeatedly taken action to strengthen its gun laws in recent years in response to America’s gun violence crisis. The NRA has consistently given Gardner ‘A’ ratings and has spent nearly $4 million to keep him in Washington. The investment has paid off: In 2018, Gardner attempted to block a modest proposal to improve records reporting to background check system that otherwise enjoyed overwhelmingly bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled Senate.

 

The ad campaign and travel builds on former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ call to action, in which she demanded the Senate come back from August recess to take action on gun laws: “President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must call the Senate back from August recess immediately. We cannot afford to wait another day for lawmakers to address this horrific national public safety threat.” In the hours and days that followed, other leaders echoed Gabby’s call for the Senate to return from recess, including many of the Democratic presidential candidates.

Background on Giffords Efforts to Pass H.R. 8

H.R. 8 was introduced on January 8th, which also marked the eighth anniversary of the Tucson shooting. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords joined Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Thompson for a press conference on Capitol Hill to unveil the legislation. In the weeks since, Giffords has been publicly advocating for swift passage of the bill. Giffords elevated the voices of Americans demanding action by teaming up with March for Our Lives, Town Hall Project, TOMS, and Levi’s to host a nationwide series of Gun Safety Town Halls rallying support for H.R. 8.

Giffords Law Center Executive Director Robyn Thomas testified before the House Judiciary Committee urging swift passage of H.R. 8. She also spoke at the last gun violence prevention hearing held in the House, over a decade ago.

The Giffords Law Enforcement Coalition sent a letter to congressional leadership urging them to pass the lifesaving legislation. Signed by 15 law enforcement leaders from across the country, the letter illustrated the urgent need to close loopholes in America’s background checks system that endanger communities, including the thousands of law enforcement officials who put their lives on the line every day for our public safety.

Members of the Giffords Veterans Coalition sent a letter to congressional leadership highlighting the fact that horrific mass shootings and the daily toll of gun violence have left Americans feeling less safe and called on Congress to close loopholes in the country’s background check system that leave communities in danger. These 13 top veteran military leaders point out why immediate action is needed as the gun death rate in America has reached its highest level in nearly 40 years.

On February 27, the House passed HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, to require a background check on every gun sale or transfer. A day later they cleared HR 1112, The Enhanced Background Checks Act, to provide the FBI additional time to complete background checks and prevent prohibited people from obtaining guns. Leader McConnell has since blocked the passage of HR 8, refusing to bring any proposals from the other chamber up for debate or consideration.