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WA STATE ADVISORY: In Key State for Gun Safety, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly are Coming to Seattle for Get-Out-the-Vote Rally

 Gabby and Mark will speak on the importance of re-electing Adam Smith and make a major announcement on Initiative 1639, which, if passed, would give Washington state stronger gun violence prevention laws  

Washington, DC — As Election Day draws closer, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former NASA astronaut and Navy veteran Captain Mark Kelly, co-founders of  Giffords , are continuing their  Vote Save Lives tour  in Seattle to champion gun safety priorities and encourage voters to get to the polls and vote in the midterms.

On Thursday, October 18, at 12:00 PM, Gabby and Mark will be part of a Get-Out-the-Vote rally with Rep. Adam Smith, CEO of the Alliance for Gun ResponsibilityRenée Hopkins, and Citizen Sponsor of Initiative 1639 Paul Kramer at Rainier Beach Community Center. They will highlight the continued leadership and need to re-elect Rep. Adam Smith to Congress. Smith, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is a co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation to expand background checks and close dangerous loopholes. He also voted against the gun lobby’s concealed carry reciprocity legislation this year.

Captain Mark Kelly will also make an important announcement about Initiative 1639, a ballot measure designed to strengthen the state’s gun laws. In particular, it would:

  • Raise the minimum purchase age to 21 for all semi-automatic assault rifles to match the rules for handguns.
  • Create an enhanced background check for semi-automatic assault rifles.
  • Incentivize secure storage practices through Dangerous Access Prevention.
  • Ensure gun buyers are aware of risks associated with firearms.

Despite the fact that our nation has experienced three of the deadliest mass shootings in recent American history—and the gun death rate has skyrocketed to a level not seen in decades—Congress has done nothing to protect our children or keep our communities safe. But in states like Washington, we’ve watched citizens step up and tell elected officials that they’re tired of waiting for stronger gun safety laws. That’s why Gabby and Mark are excited to meet with Seattle residents and urge them to vote yes on Initiative 1639: a comprehensive gun violence prevention measure that will fundamentally reform Washington’s gun safety laws.


WHERE: Rainier Beach Community Center 8825 Rainier Ave S. Seattle, WA 98118

WHEN: Thursday, October 18 at 12:00 PM


  • Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
  • Captain Mark Kelly, retired Navy Combat Veteran and NASA Astronaut
  • Representative Adam Smith (WA-09)
  • Renée Hopkins, Ceo of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • Paul Kramer, Citizen Sponsor of Initiative 1639

RSVP:Members of the media interested in covering this event must RSVP by emailing .

BACKGROUND: Vote Save Lives Tour

As the nation counts down to Election Day, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Capt. Mark Kelly are hitting the campaign trail, traveling to college campuses and communities to support candidates running on gun safety platforms in battleground districts across the nation. As part of the “ Vote Save Lives ” tour, Gabby and Mark will join student activists, gun violence survivors, and community leaders for community conversations, get-out-the-vote efforts, and other events geared towards sparking conversations about gun safety and the importance of voting.

Strengthening gun laws has become a defining issue of this year’s midterm elections. It’s no mystery why. After our country experienced three of the worst mass shootings in our history in just five months and the NRA continued to resist even the most commonsense reform of our gun laws, suburban voters began demanding change. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, inspired the single largest moment of youth civic engagement since the Civil Rights movement. Throughout 2018, student activists and voters have voiced their frustration with leaders who choose to accept NRA contributions and vote to make the situation worse, rather than taking action to keep our kids and communities safe.

This activism has led to a number of important milestones and powerful moments, from the March For Our Lives, to school walkouts, to protests at town halls across the country. Polls continue to show that  voters are making gun safety a top  issue  this election—second only to health care, particularly in suburban swing districts. There’s also been an unprecedented surge in campaign ads promoting gun reform as Americans demand to know how candidates will address this pressing problem. According to a recent analysis, ads promoting stricter gun regulations have aired 102,636 times across the country this year— a 22-fold increase from four years ago , according to a  Wall Street Journal  analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data.

BACKGROUND: Initiative 1639

Initiative 1639 is a 2018 Washington State Initiative to the People. It is a comprehensive gun violence prevention measure that will create enhanced background checks for semi-automatic assault rifles, raise the minimum purchase age for these particularly deadly weapons, incentivize secure storage practices, ensure gun buyers are aware of risk, and make our schools and communities safer. Learn more at  and follow the campaign at  @YesOn1639 .

BACKGROUND: Alliance for Gun Responsibility

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility works to end the gun violence crisis in our community and to promote a culture of gun ownership that balances rights with responsibilities. Through collaboration with experts, civic leaders, and citizens, we work to find evidenced-based solutions to the crisis of gun violence in our community. We create innovative policy, advocate for changes in laws, and promote community education to reduce gun violence. Learn more at  and follow us at  @WAGunResponsib .