Press Release

RELEASE: Giffords Launches $1.3 Million Ad Campaign to Reveal Choice for MN-02 Voters on Gun Safety

Differences Between Jason Lewis, Who Sides with the NRA and Angie Craig, Who Will Reduce Gun Violence

Washington, DC — Giffords PAC, part of the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, launched a $1.3 million dollar ad campaign aimed at highlighting the choice MN-02 voters have on gun safety. As part of this announcement, they  released a new TV ad showing howMinnesota Congressman Jason Lewis consistently sides with Washington special interests over the safety of Minnesotans, voting against common sense gun safety. On the other hand, Giffords endorsed candidate Angie Craig will work to reduce gun violence. 

“Jason Lewis was once referred to as ‘Minnesota’s Greatest Proponent of Anything-Goes Gun Laws.’ That’s not a title earned by listening to your constituents, but one given if you pick up the phone everytime the NRA calls,” said Peter Ambler, Executive Director at Giffords. “Lewis’ record proves this allegiance: he cares more about letting untrained people carry concealed guns in his district than he does about the safety of the communities he represents. After multiple workplace shootings this week, Minnesotans want to know what their leaders will do to combat this threat of gun violence. With Jason Lewis, they shouldn’t expect much. That’s why Congress needs leaders like Angie Craig who will work to protect our neighbors and loved ones from guns.”

The advertisement debuted today across Minnesota’s second congressional district as part of a $1.3 million campaign. The ad campaign will run through October 11th on broadcast, cable and digital platforms in the Minneapolis media market.

Jason Lewis’ abysmal record on gun safety includes voting in favor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill that would make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, concealed guns in public places. Lewis also has opposed commonsense gun safety laws such as universal background checks and has even voted to roll back restrictions on gun purchases by those deemed mentally unfit. While in Congress, Jason Lewis has received an A-rating from the National Rifle Association and has accepted more than $10,000 from the gun lobby.

Angie Craig, a Giffords-endorsed candidate challenging Lewis in the Second Congressional District, supports effective solutions to reduce our nation’s gun violence epidemic. As a mother of four sons, two of whom are avid hunters, Angie understands the need to balance Second Amendment rights with responsible gun safety laws. She supports lifting the ban on Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research into gun violence, along with passing universal background checks and making assault weapons and bump stocks illegal. Above all, she’s fed up with the senseless violence being perpetrated by lax gun safety laws in a state with the seventh highest gun death rate in the country.

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 the pledge.

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 senate seat 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.