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Giffords Endorses Val Demings for the US Senate at Gun Violence Memorial

MIAMI, FL — Today Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, unveiled its Gun Violence Memorial installation in Miami. The memorial, which is open to the public through Friday, December 17, commemorates the 3,000 Floridians who died from gun violence in 2020. 

At the event, Giffords PAC announced its endorsement of Representative Val Demings for US Senate. Throughout her career—which includes 27 years in law enforcement culminating in her becoming the first woman to serve as Chief of Police in the Orlando Police Department—Rep. Demings has been a champion for commonsense gun safety. 

She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, months after the horrific shooting at Pulse. As a member of the House, she voted for legislation to enact universal background checks, close loopholes which allow people convicted of domestic abuse to access guns, and increase federal funding for community violence intervention programs. She also introduced the Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2021, which would regulate armor-piercing concealable weapons under the National Firearms Act. 

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“Val Demings is one of the most dedicated public servants in this country. She served in law enforcement for 27 years, showing a deep commitment to working with community members to reduce gun violence and crime. Now as a member of Congress, Congresswoman Demings has championed commonsense gun safety laws, putting the lives of her constituents ahead of gun lobby interests. 

As senator, Congresswoman Demings will work just as hard to make sure we pass the lifesaving gun safety legislation Floridians desperately need. I’m proud to endorse Val Demings for Senate.”

US Senate Candidate Val Demings:

“I am proud to have the endorsement of Giffords PAC and Gabrielle Giffords. And like the vast majority of Floridians, I am sick and tired of inaction on obvious, bipartisan measures to stop the senseless cycle of tragedy in our communities. 

“Commonsense gun safety legislation sits in the Senate right now. These are bipartisan measures to close background check loopholes, ban high capacity magazines, improve mental health care access, and make sure that weapons that can fire through a police officer’s vest are tightly controlled. 

“But Marco Rubio doesn’t have the strength to stand up to the gun lobby, and every day that he blocks these measures that would make us all safer, families are torn apart, law enforcement faces more danger, and Floridians lose their lives at the hands of the epidemic of gun violence. 

“As a 27-year veteran of law enforcement, I know about the horrific reality of gun violence. As a mother of three, I know the worry and fear that parents and kids across America face as gun safety goes unaddressed. And as a US senator, I promise I will never tire of standing up to the NRA and fighting for the gun safety reforms we need to be safe.”

In Florida, as in the rest of the country, gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color. Black men are 11 times more likely to be victims of firearm homicide in Florida than white men.

Gun violence has emerged as a top priority for Floridians: 86% of the state’s residents, regardless of party, support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and 72% of Floridians said they wouldn’t vote for a candidate that opposes background checks.

Congresswoman Demings has been a fearless advocate on behalf of her constituents to save their lives from gun violence. As senator, she will continue to champion gun safety for all Floridians, regardless of skin color or zip code. 


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