Press Release

Giffords Endorses Jessica Morse, Josh Harder, Katie Hill, and Harley Rouda for Congress in California

The endorsement comes as part of Giffords’ #VoteCourage Campaign to elect gun reform candidates nationwide

July 25, 2018 — Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, announced its endorsement of Jessica Morse in California’s 4th districtJosh Harder in California’s 10th districtKatie Hill in California’s 25th district, and Harley Rouda in California’s 48th district.

“Politicians bought and paid for by the gun lobby to defend the firearms industry can no longer get away with saying thoughts and prayers and then staying silent. They can no longer say acts of violence are acts of nature, beyond our control. They are not, and the American people know it. They’re tired of politicians who claim to represent them failing to take action to keep them safe. This year, voters are demanding leaders with the courage to fight for a nation where gun violence is not a daily problem,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords. “Voters are ready to elect leaders, like Josh Harder, Katie Hill, Jessica Morse, and Harley Rouda, who will always put protecting the safety of our communities first, not themselves, and certainly not the gun lobby. These candidates have what it takes to take on the biggest challenges and fight for solutions that will keep our schools, streets, churches and communities safe. Giffords is proud to endorse them for Congress because they have the courage stand up to the corporate gun lobby and they’ll never stop working to make California’s communities safer.”

  • Jessica Morse’s work with USAID, the State Department, and the Defense Department took her all over the world, but her family has called Northern California home for generations. Jessica knows that California’s strong gun laws save lives. Her opponent, Tom McClintock, believes we should be arming our teachers. Jessica has lived in a place where everyone is armed, it’s called a war zone and she knows our kids deserve better. In Congress, she will fight to require background checks on all gun sales and keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and domestic abusers.

  • Katie Hill is the executive director of the largest nonprofit provider of housing for the homeless in California. She has demonstrated the courage to stand up for those without a voice and is ready to serve as a leader on gun violence prevention in Congress. Katie’s opponent, Steve Knight, doesn’t believe that we can do anything about gun violence. Katie has owned guns her entire life, but knows that commonsense measures like longer waiting periods and raising the minimum age to purchase firearms will save lives.

  • Josh Harder is a fifth-generation resident of California’s Central Valley, and his dedication to public service stems from his commitment to his community. Josh will be a fierce champion for Californians, and when in Congress, he’ll take on the gun lobby and fight for the policies that will save lives and keep California neighborhoods safe. He’s committed to stronger background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and stopping the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda.

  • Harley Rouda is a businessman who is ready and willing to stand up to special interests and tackle our nation’s gun violence epidemic. California has the strongest gun laws in the nation, and Harley knows that they work. In the last 25 years, the state’s gun death rate has been cut in half. He will fight to expand that success across the country by empowering the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research on gun violence, requiring background checks on all gun sales, and preventing dangerous people from acquiring firearms.

Giffords’ #VoteCourage campaign is aimed at electing gun safety advocates to Congress and defeating politicians who have historically worked against gun reform, or done nothing at all to prevent gun violence. The candidates endorsed by Giffords today are running to defeat politicians who have historically worked against gun reform.

  • Despite California having one of the country’s lowest gun death rates, Jessica Morse’s opponent, Congressman Tom McClintock, has attacked the state’s strong gun laws by falsely claiming they are “extremely ineffective.” McClintock has continually scored A- ratings from the NRA while racking up thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the corporate gun lobby.

  • Rather than support the overwhelmingly popular policies that could save lives, like stronger background checks, Harley Rouda’s opponent, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher decided to lend his support to a hypothetical program that would arm 4-year olds with guns. In Congress, he voted for concealed carry reciprocity, which would gut California’s gun laws. Rohrabacher received an A-rating and continues to receive thousands of dollars of contributions from them.

  • Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Katie Hill’s opponent, Congressman Steve Knight continues to peddle dangerous myths about the effectiveness of gun laws. The gun lobby’s campaign contributions led him to vote to undermine California’s strong gun laws by supporting concealed carry reciprocity. He has also refused to support funding for gun violence research or closing background check loopholes.