Press Release

NEW AD: Gabrielle Giffords Calls Out Barbara Comstock for Repeatedly Siding with the NRA as America Suffers From a Gun Violence Crisis

New Giffords PAC ad, part of $1 million investment, notes the amount of money that Barbara Comstock has taken from the NRA, and her refusal to fight for stronger gun laws

August 28, 2018 — Giffords PAC, part of the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, released their first ad of this election cycle featuring Gabrielle herself calling out Congresswoman Barbara Comstock for repeatedly siding with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as America suffers from a gun violence crisis. Comstock has an A rating from the NRA and was one of the NRA’s top campaign beneficiaries. Her district is the backyard of the NRA’s headquarters. The ad notes that even as  38,000 people were killed by guns in 2016, Comstock continued to take money from the NRA while refusing to fight for stronger gun laws.

“The failed leadership of Barbara Comstock and other NRA-backed leaders in Congress have contributed to this country’s tragic inability to keep its kids and communities safe from gun violence,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “For Virginians who have had enough of the shootings, for voters who have had enough of politicians who say “thoughts and prayers” before cashing checks from the NRA, for those of us who simply want to pass along a safer country to our kids — it’s time to vote Barbara Comstock out of office and elect in her place a Congresswoman who will dedicate her time in office to our safety, Jennifer Wexton.”

The advertisement began appearing today on televisions across Virginia’s 10th district as part of a $1 million campaign. It will be shown across cable and appear heavily in Loudoun and Fairfax. The ad makes clear that Comstock has taken hundreds of thousands from the NRA even as the organization has embraced more extreme positions and has seen it’s favorability continue to dropin recent polling.

Comstock was part of Giffords initial #VoteThemOut list because of her A rating from the NRA which led to the group making her one of their 10 biggest campaign beneficiaries. She has previously supported concealed carry reciprocity and allowing guns in restaurants, while opposing a firearm registry, background checks, a semi-automatic ban, and a one-gun-per-month sales limit.

Background on the Giffords 2018 Political Program

The initial step to the political program this year began in the hours after the Parkland shooting, when Giffords used #VoteCourage to get people to pledge to support candidates in November who will stand up to the gun lobby and fight for safer communities. In less than a week more than 450,000 Americans took thepledge.

Following the #VoteCourage pledge, Giffords began this ongoing, robust political program to shine a light on incumbents’ record of prioritizing the interests of the gun industry over public safety. It is encouraging voters to support candidates with the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. Along with the digital advertisements going out today and the website database, the program will include TV advertising, on-the-ground organizing and events, and a voter registration push.

Giffords launched a partnership with NextGen America and Everytown for Gun safety on a voter registration effort that is committing an initial $1.5 million to seek to get up to 50,000 Americans aged 18-19 registered for the midterm elections. In 2017, Giffords launched its candidate training program to help educate candidates who want to run on a gun safety platform and plans to expand the program in 2018.

The mass shooting at Parkland, in Florida, crystallized the country’s frustration with the lack of any action to pass gun safety laws. Gun death rates have climbed to levels not seen in decades. Currently, the country is averaging nearly 34,000 deaths from guns every year, and recent polling shows that support for stronger gun laws is at an all-time high.

Last November saw gun safety champions win commandingly across the country – from statewide races in Virginia and New Jersey to a key state senateseat in Washington state. The elections sparked what has become known as the suburban rebellion in the districts that will matter to who will have control of Congress next year.

A recent public opinion survey released by Giffords also shows that gun safety is a winning issue in districts key to determining control of the House of Representatives. The poll looked into 38 battleground districts that are largely Republican-held. The results proved that embracing gun safety could be the difference-maker for Democrats in key swing districts, particularly because support for stronger gun laws remains high and the National Rifle Association’s favorability is on a downward trend.