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Meet 13 Gun Safety Champions Running in the Toughest Districts in the US

With Congress’s gun safety majority on the line, we must do everything we can to reelect these candidates.

Every election cycle, it feels as if everything is at stake—and this year is no different. 

After we elected a gun safety president and majorities in both the US Senate and House, we watched them take action and deliver victories for the gun violence prevention movement. 

But the fight isn’t over. Below are our latest US House endorsements, and they represent candidates in some of the most competitive districts in the country. In order to continue making progress on this issue—investing in community violence intervention programs, funding gun violence research, closing domestic violence loopholes, passing universal background checks, and so much more—we must send these incumbent representatives back to Capitol Hill next January. 

We know the 2022 midterm elections will be close, and that the fate of our gun safety majority in the House runs through these districts. We are steadfast in our commitment to reelect these courageous members of Congress as they continue their fight against the gun violence epidemic in this country. 

Cindy Axne (IA-03)

In 2018, Iowa voters sent a message to the gun lobby by replacing a two-term incumbent with an A+ rating from the NRA with Congresswoman Cindy Axne—a fifth-generation Iowan, mother of teenagers, and a gun safety champion. In Congress, Representative Axne has been a champion for needed reforms like expanding background checks to all gun sales, passing legislation to keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who have committed domestic abuse, and making sure our nation’s schools are prepared to respond to potential emergencies.

Antonio Delgado (NY-19)

In 2018, voters in the Catskills and Hudson Valley made history by electing Congressman Antonio Delgado as the first African American to represent upstate New York in Congress. In the process, they also flipped a key swing district from red to blue, sent an NRA-backed incumbent into retirement, and handed Democrats a majority in the US House of Representatives and a mandate to pass much needed gun safety legislation. In Congress, Representative Delgado has been a passionate advocate for the many common sense reforms needed to keep New Yorkers safe from senseless tragedies. In 2019 and 2021, he voted to pass legislation that would expand background checks to all gun sales and keep guns away from individuals who have committed domestic abuse. As a proud native of upstate New York, and serving one of the most rural districts in the country, Representative Delgado also knows that gun ownership is a way of life for many of his constituents. He believes that people of all backgrounds can come together in support of solutions that reduce gun violence in communities while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07)

In 2018, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher ousted an incumbent that voted in lockstep with the gun lobby and won the chance to serve the residents of Texas’s 7th Congressional District in Washington. In Congress, Representative Fletcher has never shied away from the fight to end gun violence in America. She has co-sponsored and voted for legislation to expand background checks to all gun sales and supported bills to close the loopholes that allow individuals who have committed domestic abuse and people convicted of felonies to buy guns. She has also played an active role in supporting efforts to fund gun violence studies. Time after time, Congresswoman Fletcher has brought together diverse coalitions of stakeholders around this issue, and she has been a leader in the House of Representatives’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Jahana Hayes (CT-05)

For Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, championing gun violence prevention is deeply personal. As both an educator and mother in Connecticut at the time of the Sandy Hook tragedy, she understands the immediate need for sensible regulation at a visceral level. As the wife of a police officer, she knows that there are many law-abiding gun owners who are also put at risk by those who abuse their access to arms, and that we must step in to keep Americans safe. 

In Congress, Representative Hayes’s first resolution was to prohibit the use of federal funds to arm teachers. In the years since, she has also introduced legislation to prevent school-based gun violence and improve data collection on school shootings. She is deputy whip of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and she supports a variety of lifesaving gun violence prevention measures.

Steven Horsford (NV-04)

For Congressman Steven Horsford, the issue of gun violence is personal—when he was just 19, he lost his father in a tragic shooting. In 2012, Representative Horsford made history as the first-ever African American to represent Nevada in Congress. While he lost his seat in a Republican wave in 2014, he returned to office in 2018, handing Democrats a gun safety majority in the House and a mandate to advance gun safety legislation.

In Congress, Representative Horsford has been a leader in the fight to pass universal background checks and to close loopholes in our federal laws that allow individuals who have committed domestic abuse to access firearms. He also introduced the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, a landmark piece of legislation that would allocate $6.5 billion for effective community-based violence intervention programs and create a new Office of Community Violence Intervention and a National Community Violence Response Center within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Andy Kim (NJ-03)

As a dedicated civil servant, a diplomat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now as a representative for the people of New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, Congressman Andy Kim has always put service to his country first. In Congress, Representative Kim has been a consistent supporter of legislation to implement background checks on all gun sales and close dangerous loopholes that allow guns to fall into the hands of individuals who have committed domestic abuse. He’s also helped lead the charge to halt the proliferation of dangerous ghost guns and break cycles of violence plaguing our communities by providing funding for community violence intervention programs. As the first Korean American Democrat ever elected to the House of Representatives and the first Asian American from New Jersey elected to federal office, Congressman Kim is acutely aware of the need to disarm hate and keep guns out of the hands of individuals convicted of violent hate crime misdemeanors.

SUSIE LEE (NV-03)

For more than 25 years, Congresswoman Susie Lee has been a strong advocate on behalf of Nevada’s children and families. In October 2017, Congresswoman Lee’s own Las Vegas became the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival, shooting over 400 people and killing 60. Knowing she needed to take action, Congresswoman Lee joined our founder, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, on the campaign trail to hear from gun violence survivors, student activists, and community organizers. Once elected to Congress, she wasted no time in making the voices of those impacted in Las Vegas heard at the national level by voting to pass bipartisan legislation to implement universal background checks and close the boyfriend and stalker loopholes. Congresswoman Lee also helped usher in the first dedicated federal funding for gun violence research in more than two decades when Congress appropriated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health in 2019.

Mike Levin (CA-49)

In Congress, Representative Mike Levin has worked to eliminate the threat of gun violence and keep our communities safe. One of the first caucuses he joined was the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and one of the first bills he signed onto was the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to require background checks on all gun sales and transfers. Congressman Levin has also co-sponsored legislation to combat the rise of ghost guns, and worked across the aisle to introduce legislation to encourage safe firearm storage. He believes that to solve America’s epidemic of gun violence, we must continue to research and understand it. For this reason, Representative Levin helped secure $25 million for federal research into gun violence at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and we know he will never tire in pushing for additional funding to take on this complex problem. 

Elaine Luria (VA-02)

As a former Navy commander and now as a member of Congress with the longest active-duty tenure of any Democrat, Representative Elaine Luria took an oath to protect the American people and their constitutional rights. She understands that while law-abiding citizens should be able to own guns, commonsense safety measures are also necessary to keep our communities safe from the deadly impacts of gun violence. 

In the House, Representative Luria has supported legislation to expand background checks to all gun sales, prohibit the possession or transfer of large-capacity magazines, and allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a judge to keep firearms out of the hands of those determined to be a danger to themselves or others. For Congresswoman Luria, each of these policies took on particular urgency after the mass shooting in Virginia Beach in May of 2019, and she’s worked to honor the lives of the 12 Virginians lost in her congressional district that day ever since. 

Katie Porter (CA-47)

Representative Katie Porter knows the ins and outs of holding special interests accountable, and her courage to act is unparalleled. In office, she has been a diligent supporter of commonsense reforms to end America’s epidemic of gun violence. The first amendment that she introduced as a congresswoman would have required Congress to issue a report on the effect of firearm possession on victims of domestic violence, and she co-sponsored and voted for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to enact universal background checks. Representative Porter also helped introduce the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 to close a dangerous loophole in our federal firearm laws that allows a gun sale to proceed if a background check is not completed within three days—even if the buyer has a criminal record. 

Kim Schrier (WA-08)

As a pediatrician, Congresswoman Kim Schrier knows that America’s gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis and that commonsense gun safety reforms play a crucial role in keeping our children and families safe. In office, Congresswoman Schrier has never shied away from the fight to end gun violence and has always put the health and wellbeing of her constituents first. In 2019, she helped secure gun violence research funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health for the first time in more than two decades. She has also been a consistent supporter of legislation to expand background checks to all gun sales and to keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who have committed domestic abuse.

Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

Representative Lauren Underwood knows that gun violence prevention is a public health issue, and that Congress must respond accordingly with data-driven, evidence-based policies so that every American can live free of gun violence. Congresswoman Underwood made history in 2018 when she became the first person of color, first woman, and first millennial elected to represent her district, as well as the youngest Black woman to ever serve in Congress. Less than two months after Congresswoman Underwood took office, five people were killed and six were wounded by a mass shooter in her district—and she immediately took action. In office, Representative Underwood has supported the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and efforts to limit access to guns for those who have committed domestic abuse and stalking, as well as others with existing legal actions regarding threats of violence. Congresswoman Underwood is also fighting for policies that improve access to suicide prevention services and mental health care.

Susan Wild (PA-07)

Representative Susan Wild made history in 2018 by flipping the Republican-controlled 7th Congressional District blue, becoming the first woman to represent the Lehigh Valley in Congress and the first Jewish federally elected official in Pennsylvania history. Congresswoman Wild comes from a military family and in representing a district with a large number of gun owners, she knows that it’s possible to respect the constitutional right of citizens to bear arms and support strong gun safety laws at the same time. In office she has supported countless lifesaving bills and resolutions, including the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Violence Against Women Act.

JOIN THE FIGHT

Gun violence costs our nation 40,000 lives each year. We can’t sit back as politicians fail to act tragedy after tragedy. Giffords brings the fight to save lives to communities, courthouses, and ballot boxes across the country—will you stand with us?