Press Release

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and US Senator Tina Smith Rally for Universal Background Checks in the Senate

Minnesota stop of the ‘Road to Universal Background Checks Tour’ highlighted the importance of flipping control of the Senate by reelecting gun safety champions like Senator Smith

July 29, 2020 — Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention group Giffords, and US Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) issued a call to elect a gun safety Senate during the Minnesota stop of the virtual Road to Universal Background Checks Tour. Hosted by Giffords Managing Director Robin Lloyd and featuring Bob Mokos of Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety, the group spoke directly to Minnesotans on the importance of a new Senate majority that will take action to pass lifesaving universal background checks.

“Senator Smith has fought for the majority of Minnesotans who are demanding stronger gun laws. We’re proud to stand with her and help return her to the Senate to be part of a gun safety majority,” Robin Lloyd, Giffords Managing Director said. “She’s committed to passing a universal background check law that will help protect Minnesota communities. We are making it clear to Minnesotans and voters across the country that this year they have the chance to make history by finally passing gun safety laws and breaking the gun lobby’s grip on the Senate for good.”

Speaking to thousands of viewers in Minnesota 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.

“This is really about keeping people safe. Universal background checks prevent those who are illegally purchasing firearms from doing so, and they are overwhelmingly supported by Democrats and Republicans alike,” Senator Smith said. “A majority of Minnesotans support background checks because we look out for one another, and we want to keep guns out of hands of those who wish to do harm to others. Real change requires us taking real action.”

A recently released Public Policy Polling of Minnesota voters finds that nearly 8 in 10 voters support universal background checks. Similarly, 60% of Minnesotans are more likely for someone to vote for the candidate who supports background checks, while only 10% would be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes background checks.

“As a gun owner and a gun safety advocate, I know that we need change in this country to better protect Americans,” Bob Mokos of Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety said. “We can all agree that background checks are a commonsense solution to make sure that guns are sold to responsible owners. It is the time to vote for real change by supporting Senate candidates who will finally pass universal background checks.”

The Minnesota 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.