Members of our military take up arms to keep America secure and strong, and to protect and defend the Constitution. Veterans are also some of our nation’s foremost experts on guns. They know what guns can do in the hands of trained, responsible people, and how they can be used in the hands of those who want to do us harm.
The Giffords Veterans Coalition is a national network of America’s veterans who advocate for evidence-based changes to our laws that will make our communities safer from gun violence. The coalition was launched by Captain Mark Kelly, a Navy combat veteran, retired NASA astronaut, and co-founder of Giffords, along with leading veterans who are calling on Congress to act to reduce gun violence.
The coalition is focused on engaging other veterans and elected leaders by:
- Urging our elected leaders to close the loopholes in our background check laws that let felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill buy guns without a criminal background check.
- Strengthening existing laws and ensuring lawmakers and stakeholders have the resources and training they need to prevent gun tragedies.
- Partnering with other groups in the veterans community on suicide prevention and mental health.
“As people who work hard to protect us, veterans know it’s important to work together to protect both our rights and the security of our communities. I am deeply honored to have such accomplished members of our military family—American heroes—standing with us in this fight.”
—Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords
The Giffords Veterans Coalition is led by an Advisory Committee that is made up of a diverse group of men and women veterans from across the country—half of whom are retired three- and four-star Generals and Admirals, and half of whom are younger veterans who fought for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Members of the Giffords Veterans Coalition include:
- Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.)
- General Peter W. Chiarelli, USA (Ret.)
- General Wesley Clark, USA (Ret.)
- General Michael V. Hayden, USAF (Ret.)
- General James T. Hill, USA (Ret.)
- Admiral James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.)
- General Stanley A. McChrystal, USA (Ret.)
- Admiral Eric T. Olson, USN (Ret.)
- General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.)
- Lt. General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.)
- Lt. General Norman R. Seip, USAF (Ret.)
- Lt. General William “Kip” E. Ward, USA (Ret.)
- Rear Admiral James Arden “Jamie” Barnett Jr., USN (Ret.)
- Major General Vance Coleman, USA (Ret.)
- Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.)
- Brigadier General Evelyn “Pat” Foote, USA (Ret.)
- Captain Gail Kulisch, USCG (Ret.)
- Commander Carlos Del Toro, USN (Ret.)
- Dave Korus, USAF (Ret.)
- Jonathan Sanford, USA (Ret.)
- Terron Sims II, USA (Ret.)
- Shawn J. VanDiver, USN (Ret.)
Since 1969, more Americans have been killed by gun violence than in all U.S. wars combined.
Capt. Mark Kelly, USN (Ret.): Now is exactly the right time to talk about gun politics [NJ.com, 10/3/17]
Shawn J. VanDiver, USN (Ret.): Navy vet on Vegas shooting: We need gun laws that make us as safe as our military, [USA Today, 10/4/17]
Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA (Ret.): Give our veterans considering suicide help, not a gun [The Hill, 3/16/17]
Veterans Partnership: Petraeus and other ex-generals oppose bill to let mentally ill vets get guns [Letter to Congress, 03/14/2017]