Press Release

Gun Safety Wins in Virginia; Gabrielle Giffords Congratulates Jennifer Wexton

November 6, 2018 – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords released the following statement congratulating Jennifer Wexton for emerging victorious in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District:

“This year, Jennifer Wexton dared to imagine an America where gun violence wasn’t normal and people didn’t have to live in fear, wondering if today was the day they would have to duck under a desk or hide in a closet. Jennifer stood tall and boldly declared that the gun lobby is no longer welcome here, and their influence over our politicians is a thing of the past. Communities in Virginia responded to this message of courage and hope by electing Jennifer to office. Today marks the dawn of a new era for gun safety in America.

“Jennifer made it clear that once elected, she would fight for laws proven to keep guns out of dangerous hands and save lives. Jennifer called out her NRA-backed opponent and vowed to hold the powerful accountable. On the campaign trail, she listened to the concerns of voters who don’t understand how we can live in a country where nearly 100 lives are lost to gunfire each day. Jennifer promised to bring what she heard to the halls of power, and now she will.

“Jennifer’s election is a testament to the strength of people who stood up and marched, who spoke up and said enough. Jennifer harnessed this new energy and pointed out that politicians had failed in their basic moral responsibility to keep us safe. Her election is proof that we don’t have to tolerate inaction on gun safety in a country where guns cause daily heartbreak and horror. We congratulate Jennifer Wexton on her victory tonight and look forward to working with her in the months to come as we fight to make our schools, streets, and communities safer.”

Wexton was a top priority of the Giffords #VoteThemOut initiative. She campaigned on the promise of standing up to the gun lobby and has a long record of supporting stronger gun laws, including voting to ban bump stocks, require background checks for all gun purchases, and prohibit domestic abusers and stalkers from acquiring firearms.

Giffords invested $1 million into an ad campaign (ad 1ad 2) in VA-10 that exposed incumbent Barbara Comstock’s weak record on gun safety—driving down her favorability and boosting Wexton’s standing with votersThe first ad in the campaign featured Giffords speaking directly to Comstock’s failed record. The second ad called out Congresswoman Comstock for her failure to close the federal background check loophole that allows criminals to legally buy firearms. Comstock was part of the 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 background checks, a ban on semi-automatic firearms, and a one-gun-per-month sales limit.

News Coverage Highlights:

Related Resources from Giffords: