Press Release

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and U.S. Senator Gary Peters Rally for Universal Background Checks in the Senate

Michigan stop of the ‘Road to Universal Background Checks Tour’ highlighted the importance of flipping control of the Senate by electing gun safety champions like Senator Peters

Washington, D.C. — Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention group Giffords, and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) issued a call to elect a gun safety Senate during the Michigan stop of the virtual Road to Universal Background Checks Tour. Hosted by Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler and featuring student activist and Michigan State University senior Elizabeth Lancaster, the group spoke directly to Michiganders on the importance of a new Senate majority that will take action to pass lifesaving universal background checks.

“Gary Peters is a veteran who understands the responsibilities that come with owning a gun. He’s strongly supported lifesaving universal background checks at a time when the United States Senate majority is in the gun lobby’s pocket. This November, we’ll flip control of the Senate by helping leaders like Senator Peters get re-elected,” said Peter Ambler, Giffords Executive Director. “A supermajority of Michiganders support gun safety policies like universal background checks, and come Election Day, they’re going to make their voices heard at the ballot box. We’re proud to join Senator Peters and Elizabeth Lancaster in talking with these Michigan voters about how we can make gun safety history by changing who holds power in the Senate.”

Speaking to thousands of viewers in Michigan and nationwide, the panel of gun safety champions stressed the importance of electing a gun safety majority to the Senate—while protecting the gun safety majority in the House—so that universal background checks can finally become law.

“I’m proud to join former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords for this important conversation on addressing the epidemic of gun violence,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI). “I am fighting to protect all Michiganders and keep our communities safe. And as we continue this fight, I remain committed to working towards commonsense solutions, including fighting to pass comprehensive background checks.”

A recently released Public Policy Polling of Michigan voters finds that a supermajority of Michiganders supports stronger gun safety policies like universal background checks. According to the survey 8 in 10 Michiganders support universal background checks, and even more telling, only 13% are more likely to support a candidate who opposes background checks.

“Not a day goes by that a Michigander is not impacted by gun violence,” said Elizabeth Lancaster. “In our schools, neighborhoods, and businesses we feel the pain of the inaction in Congress. This inaction is hurting Black and Brown Michiganders the most and needs to end. There’s a real opportunity this year to elect leaders that will put these impacted communities first, and working with leaders like Senator Peters and former Congresswoman Giffords is how we’re going to bring this change to Washington.”

The Michigan event is part of the greater Giffords effort to elect gun safety candidates at all levels of leadership, including making 2020 the year for a #GunSafetyPresident. Earlier this year, former Congresswoman Giffords announced her endorsement and the backing of Giffords PAC for Joe Biden for president of the United States of America. Vice President Biden shared his views on gun violence prevention at the 2020 Gun Safety Forum, hosted by Giffords and March for Our Lives, on October 2, 2019 in Las Vegas. He also sat down with the team at Giffords to discuss how he would approach gun safety reform as president.