Giffords Endorses Slate of Gun Safety Champions
Washington, DC — Giffords PAC, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced its endorsement of 13 strong gun safety champions running for reelection in the House of Representatives across the nation. These members are all part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s list of Frontline candidates and represent some of the most competitive districts in the country. It is clear that the 2022 midterms will be close, and the fate of our gun safety majority in the House runs through these districts. Giffords PAC is steadfast in our commitment to sending these incumbent representatives all back to Washington DC next January and in doing so, we can continue to make needed investments in community violence intervention programs and gun violence research, close domestic violence loopholes, and pass universal background checks once and for all.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“Communities across our country continue to suffer from the gun violence epidemic that is reaching unprecedented levels. The candidates that we are endorsing today have run for Congress on gun safety and won, establishing a gun safety majority that has passed background checks and other life-saving measures on a bipartisan basis.
The candidates have acknowledged the toll of gun violence that plagues our children and families and are committed to working tirelessly to stop it. Their leadership will be critical to taking steps to prevent future tragedies. Giffords PAC is proud to endorse these leaders, who have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and who will never stop working to save lives.”
The slate of endorsed candidates includes:
- Cindy Axne (IA-03): Iowa voters sent a message to the gun lobby in 2018 by replacing a two-term incumbent with an A+ rating from the NRA with Cindy Axne—a fifth-generation Iowan, mother of teenagers, and gun safety champion. In Congress, Representative Axne has been a champion for needed reforms like expanding background checks to all gun sales, passing legislation to keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who have committed domestic abuse, and making sure our nation’s schools are prepared to respond to potential emergencies. Axne is committed to doing everything she can to ensure that America’s children don’t have to live in a world where schools, churches, shopping malls, and movie theaters are not safe places because of the threat of gun violence. At the same time, she is well aware of the fact that responsible gun ownership is a facet of daily life in Iowa and respects the rights of her constituents. Representative Axne is a bold, brave leader, her sensible approach to gun safety is needed in our national dialogue.
- Antonio Delgado (NY-19): In 2018, voters in the Catskills and Hudson Valley made history by electing Congressman Antonio Delgado as the first African American to represent upstate New York in Congress. In the process, they also flipped a key swing district from red to blue, sent an NRA-backed incumbent into retirement, and handed Democrats a majority in the US House of Representatives and a mandate to pass much-needed gun safety legislation. In Congress, Representative Delgado has been a passionate advocate for the many commonsense reforms needed to keep New Yorkers safe from senseless tragedies. In 2019 and 2021, he voted to pass legislation that would expand background checks to all gun sales and keep guns away from individuals who have committed domestic abuse. As a proud native of upstate New York, and serving one of the most rural districts in the country, Representative Delgado also knows that gun ownership is a way of life for many of his constituents. He believes that people of all backgrounds can come together in support of solutions that reduce gun violence in communities while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
- Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07): In Congress, Representative Fletcher has never shied away from the fight to end gun violence in America. In both 2019 and 2021, she co-sponsored and voted for legislation to expand background checks to all gun sales and supported bills to close the loopholes that allow individuals who have committed domestic abuse and people convicted of felonies to buy guns. Throughout her time in office, Fletcher has also played an active role in supporting efforts to fund studies that would allow our leaders and the American people to better understand the root causes of gun violence and its impacts. Time after time, Representative Fletcher has brought together diverse coalitions of stakeholders around this issue, and she has been a leader in the House of Representatives’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
- Jahana Hayes (CT-05): In Congress, Representative Hayes’s first resolution was to prohibit the use of federal funds to arm teachers. In the years since she has also introduced legislation to prevent school-based gun violence and improve data collection on school shootings. As a deputy whip of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Hayes has rallied her colleagues around historic legislation, like the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would implement background checks for all gun purchases. For Representative Hayes, championing gun violence prevention is deeply personal. As both an educator and mother in Connecticut at the time of the Sandy Hook tragedy, she understands the immediate need for sensible regulation at a visceral level. As the wife of a police officer, she knows that there are many law-abiding gun owners who are also put at risk by those who abuse their access to arms, and we must step in to keep Americans safe.
- Steven Horsford (NV-04): For Steven Horsford, the issue of gun violence is personal. When he was just 19, Horsford lost his father in a tragic shooting. Like many other survivors who have been touched by this issue firsthand, he turned his pain into action and dedicated his life to advocating for his community in Las Vegas. In Congress, Representative Horsford has been a leader in the fight to pass universal background checks. He also introduced the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, a landmark piece of legislation that would allocate $6.5 billion for effective community-based violence intervention programs and create a new Office of Community Violence Intervention and a National Community Violence Response Center within the Department of Health and Human Services. It is absolutely crucial that Congress pass this lifesaving legislation to interrupt the cycles of violence that plague communities from coast to coast and give future generations the chance to grow up free from the scourge of gun violence.
- Andy Kim (NJ-03): Congressman Andy Kim has always been an advocate for strengthening our nation’s gun laws and passing commonsense solutions to end America’s gun violence epidemic. In Congress, Representative Kim has been a consistent supporter of legislation to implement background checks on all gun sales and close dangerous loopholes that allow guns to fall into the hands of individuals who have committed domestic abuse. He’s also helped lead the charge to halt the proliferation of dangerous ghost guns and break cycles of violence plaguing our communities by providing funding for community violence intervention programs. As the first Korean American Democrat ever elected to the House of Representatives and the first Asian American from New Jersey elected to federal office, Representative Kim is acutely aware of the need to disarm hate and keep guns out of the hands of individuals convicted of violent hate crime misdemeanors. After violent insurrectionists assaulted the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, the world got the chance to see Kim’s empathy and character on full display as he joined custodial workers in cleaning up the damage left behind on that tragic day. This kind of moral leadership is exactly what makes him such an impactful member of Congress, and one that we must protect in 2022.
- Susie Lee (NV-03): For more than 25 years, Congresswoman Susie Lee has been a strong advocate on behalf of Nevada’s children and families. In October 2017, Congresswoman Lee’s own Las Vegas became the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Sixty people were killed and over 400 were shot. Like many Nevadans, Representative Lee has friends who experienced the shooting and are still dealing with the trauma that accompanied it. In 2018, Congresswoman Lee joined Giffords founder, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, on the campaign trail to hear from gun violence survivors, student activists, and community organizers. Once elected to Congress, she wasted no time in making the voices of those impacted in Las Vegas heard at the national level by voting to pass bipartisan legislation to implement universal background checks and close the boyfriend and stalker loopholes. Congresswoman Lee is committed to continuing to work across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to prevent senseless acts of gun violence and to keep our communities and children safe.
- Mike Levin (CA-49): In Congress, Representative Levin has worked to eliminate the threat of gun violence and keep our communities safe. One of the first caucuses he joined was the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and one of the first bills he signed onto was the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to require background checks on all gun sales and transfers. Levin has also co-sponsored legislation to combat the rise of ghost guns, and worked across the aisle to introduce legislation to encourage safe firearm storage. He believes that to solve America’s epidemic of gun violence, we must continue to research and understand it. For this reason, Representative Levin helped secure $25 million for federal research into gun violence at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and we know he will never tire in pushing for additional funding to tackle this complex problem head on.
- Elaine Luria (VA-02): As a former Navy commander, and now as a member of Congress, Representative Elaine Luria took an oath to protect the American people and their constitutional rights. In doing so, Luria knows that while law-abiding citizens should be able to own guns, commonsense safety measures are also necessary to keep our communities safe from the deadly impacts of gun violence. In the House, Representative Luria has been an active member of the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security committees. She has also supported legislation to expand background checks to all gun sales, prohibit the possession or transfer of large-capacity magazines, and allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a judge to keep firearms out of the hands of those determined to be a danger to themselves or others. For Representative Luria, each of these policies took on particular urgency after the mass shooting in Virginia Beach in May of 2019, and she’s worked to honor the lives of the 12 Virginians lost in her congressional district that day ever since.
- Katie Porter (CA-47): Strong women get things done, and Representative Katie Porter has made clear that where others might waver in the fight to end gun violence, she will always push ahead. In office, Porter has been a diligent supporter of commonsense reforms to end America’s epidemic of gun violence from the start of her time serving the citizens of Orange County. The first amendment that she introduced as a congresswoman would have required Congress to issue a report on the effect of firearm possession on victims of domestic violence, and in both 2019 and 2021, Representative Porter co-sponsored and voted for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to enact universal background checks. In both the 116th and 117th Congresses, Porter also helped to introduce the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 to close a dangerous loophole in our federal firearm laws that allows a gun sale to proceed if a background check is not completed within three days—even if the buyer has a criminal record.
- Kim Schrier (WA-08): As a pediatrician, Kim Schrier knows that America’s gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis and that commonsense gun safety reforms play a crucial role in keeping our children and families safe. As a result, Schrier has never shied away from the fight to end gun violence and she has always put the health and wellbeing of her constituents first while serving in office. She knows that consistently funding federal research into this issue is critical to understanding its causes and crafting effective solutions, and that lives depend on Congress taking action. In 2019, Representative Schrier played an active role in securing such funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health for the first time in more than two decades. As a congresswoman, she has also been a consistent supporter of legislation to expand background checks to all gun sales and to keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who have committed domestic abuse.
- Lauren Underwood (IL-14): For Lauren Underwood, addressing gun violence with meaningful action is a moral obligation that is long overdue. She knows that gun violence prevention is a public health issue and that Congress must respond accordingly with data-driven, evidence-based policies so that every American can live free of gun violence. In 2018, Underwood made history by flipping a deep red seat in the western suburbs of Chicago, becoming the first person of color, first woman, and first millennial elected to represent her district, as well as the youngest Black woman to ever serve in Congress. In office, Representative Underwood has also supported efforts to limit access to guns for those who have committed domestic abuse and stalking, as well as others with existing legal actions regarding threats of violence. Because over half of gun deaths are suicides, Underwood has fought every day for policies that improve access to suicide prevention services and mental health care. This work specifically included partnering with Giffords to introduce the Lethal Means Safety Training Act to address the veteran suicide crisis, and the Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act to invest in educating health care providers in evidence-based youth suicide prevention initiatives.
- Susan Wild (PA-07): Susan Wild has an unmatched record of public service and has always put the needs of her community first. After serving as the first female solicitor of the City of Allentown, Representative Wild made history in 2018 by flipping the Republican-controlled 7th Congressional District blue. In defeating an NRA-backed opponent to take her seat at the table, Wild made her deep passion for ending gun violence apparent from the start. In office, she has stood up for her constituents’ safety and supported countless lifesaving bills and resolutions, including the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would expand background checks to all gun sales and transfers. Representative Wild has also worked diligently to pass legislation to close the “Charleston Loophole,” which allows the FBI just three days to perform a background check before a gun dealer can proceed with a sale. Additionally, Wild has been a vocal advocate for reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act to protect women across Pennsylvania from deadly aggression from individuals who have committed domestic abuse and who shouldn’t be allowed to possess weapons in the first place.