March 8, 2016 – Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) – the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly – today announced its endorsement of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland for United States Senate. Citing his support for a broad set of commonsense gun violence prevention policies, ARS declared Governor Strickland its Ohio Champion for Common Sense. Strickland is opposing Senator Rob Portman, who has consistently voted against bipartisan proposals to reduce gun violence, including closing the loopholes in federal law that let dangerous people buy a gun without a criminal background check.
“Governor Strickland is the best person in this race to fight for the commonsense steps we need to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and make Ohio’s communities safer,” said ARS Co-Founders Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly. “Where Senator Portman voted to protect the loopholes that let felons and domestic abusers get guns without a background check, Governor Strickland will be a strong vote in the United States Senate to close those loopholes. Where Senator Portman ignored the vast majority of Ohioans who wanted responsible solutions, Governor Strickland will stand with the people of Ohio who want commonsense gun laws. We need more leaders like Governor Strickland – leaders who will protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners like us but who also have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and stand up for common sense. We look forward to seeing Governor Strickland be a voice for responsibility in the United States Senate.”
“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Americans for Responsible Solutions and in the U.S. Senate I look forward to working with Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly to push for commonsense and effective solutions that will help protect our communities from gun violence,” said Governor Strickland. “No American should be concerned that when they send their child to school or go to a movie that they won’t be safe, and Gabby and Mark are leading the charge in tackling this escalating epidemic of violence. Proposals like comprehensive background checks, closing the Terrorist Watch List loophole and keeping weapons out of the hands of domestic abusers are all commonsense ideas that are consistent with our Second Amendment rights and will help keep Ohioans safe from this kind of violence.”
In 2013, Senator Portman voted against a bipartisan proposal to close the loopholes in federal law that let felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill buy a gun without a criminal background check, even though 90 percent of Ohioans – including 86 percent of gun owners – supported the measure. In December 2015, Senator Portman also voted against closing the so-called “terror gap,” which lets known and suspected terrorists legally purchase firearms. He has also declined to sign on to a bipartisan measure to protect victims of domestic violence and stalking by reducing abusers’ and stalkers’ access to firearms.
Governor Strickland has voiced his support for all of these commonsense measures, as well as the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which granted broad immunity for gun manufacturers and dealers in federal and state courts.