Giffords Launches National Gun Owners for Safety Coalition With Members in All 50 States
Giffords, offering an alternative to the NRA, has organized gun owners who support commonsense gun safety policies at the federal and state level
Washington, D.C. — Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention group Giffords, launched a new national Gun Owners for Safety coalition and announced new chapters in three key swing states – Michigan, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Leading into the launch, Giffords connected with more than 40,000 gun owners from all 50 states, D.C. and some serving abroad. Members include hunters, collectors, veterans, former law enforcement, and others who value gun ownership and want to reduce gun violence.
“I have met countless gun owners who value the right to own a gun and recognize the immense responsibility that comes with it. They have a commitment to keeping their families and communities safe. They know that the NRA and gun lobby do not share nor represent their values. To all of them, I say join us,” said former Congresswoman Giffords, who herself is a gun owner. “Legal loopholes have made it too easy for prohibited people in our country to get a gun. The vast majority of gun owners support sensible gun laws that save lives, starting with universal background checks.”
Gun Owners for Safety will build off Giffords’ success organizing pilot chapters in Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas in 2019. In 2021, this new national group will focus on securing universal background checks at the federal level, while the state groups will expand their outreach efforts to state legislatures.
The National Rifle Association once represented the interests of many gun owners, but with the organization in shambles and its increasingly extremist positions, it hasn’t for a long time. Giffords Gun Owners for Safety plans to reach out to the diverse group of gun owners who recognize that the Second Amendment and gun safety laws are not in conflict.
“Gun Owners for Safety provides a new community where gun owners can proudly support and advocate for commonsense gun safety laws and practices,” said Giffords Engagement Director Sheila E. Isong. “We’re excited to see the tremendous leadership and enthusiasm from our members, creating state chapters, advocating for smart gun safety solutions, and connecting with other gun owners across the country.”
Prior to the launch, Giffords held a series of organizer trainings for existing and newly formed state chapters, and has built a network of Gun Owners for Safety ambassadors to help launch new chapters across the country. The launch event featured a number of these gun owners, including those featured in a new Gun Owners for Safety video where they sent a message to 2020 candidates.