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GUN SAFETY VICTORY: Gun Safety Champion John Hickenlooper Defeats NRA-Backed Senator Cory Gardner in Colorado

Washington, DC Giffords PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, congratulates former Governor John Hickenlooper on his election to the United States Senate. Throughout his campaign, Gov. Hickenlooper promised to fight in the Senate for the gun safety solutions he championed as governor. 

Gov. Hickenlooper’s election represents the triumph of courage over the corporate gun lobby’s extremist agenda and dark money. Cory Gardner’s defeat is clear proof that the once-powerful NRA has fallen. While the gun lobby once held sway in states like Colorado, the voters have rejected fear mongering and violent rhetoric. Instead, tonight’s election marks a new era of gun safety leadership.

Statement from Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords

“I am proud of my friend Gov. Hickenlooper for his resounding victory tonight. During my visit to Colorado in March, I told voters that the nation was counting on them to be bold and courageous. They answered, raising their voices and casting their votes for change. Gov. Hickenlooper has always stood up for what’s right and he will be a champion for gun safety in the Senate.”  

Colorado was a top priority for Giffords in 2020, and Giffords PAC invested heavily in the state to flip the Senate seat and support gun safety candidates up and down the ballot. In July, Giffords PAC launched a $1.25 million independent expenditure targeting Gardner’s cozy relationship to both Trump and the NRA at the expense of his constituents. 

Giffords also teamed up with Gov. Hickenlooper for key campaign events throughout the cycle. Beginning with a trip to Colorado in March, Giffords joined the Hickenlooper campaign for a range of in-person and virtual events. During a day of campaigning with Gov. Hickenlooper that included a gun violence roundtable and rally in Aurora, former Congresswoman Giffords announced the organization’s endorsement of Gov. Hickenlooper.  

Gov. Hickenlooper also joined Congresswoman Giffords, Giffords Managing Director Robin Lloyd, and advocate Sandy Phillips for the Colorado stop of the virtual Road to Universal Background Checks Tour in August. Speaking to thousands of viewers in Colorado and nationwide, the panel stressed the importance of electing a gun safety majority to the Senate so that universal background checks can finally become law. Ahead of the event, Giffords released new public policy polling showing that 75% of Colorado voters support universal background checks.

In the final stretch of the campaign, members of Colorado Gun Owners for Safety, a state chapter of the newly launched national coalition of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety, rallied virtually with Gov. Hickenlooper to fight the NRA and defeat Sen Cory Gardner.

Gov. Hickenlooper is ready to take action on gun safety in the Senate, and Giffords looks forward to working with him.