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Giffords Endorses Pennsylvania Slate of Gun Safety Champions

Washington, DCGiffords PAC, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced its endorsement of five strong Pennsylvania-based gun safety champions running for reelection to seats in the US House of Representatives. The endorsement comes less than a week before Giffords is set to host a Senate forum dedicated to addressing gun violence in Pennsylvania, where many of these candidates are serving as honorary co-chairs. The event, which will take place in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, will provide Senate candidates with a meaningful opportunity to directly engage voters and present their plans to address the state’s gun violence epidemic. Giffords PAC is committed to sending a gun safety candidate to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate 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:

“We know that commonsense gun safety laws that support responsible gun ownership benefit everyone. The Pennsylvania-based candidates who we are endorsing today ​​bring many different perspectives and experiences to the campaign trail, but all share a commitment to bettering their communities and ending the gun violence epidemic. Their dedication to ending gun violence will make this country a safer place for all Americans.

At a time when the gun lobby is trafficking in lies and misinformation to stop commonsense gun laws, it’s more important than ever to elect candidates who support gun safety that is proven to make our communities safer. 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:

  • Madeleine Dean (PA-04)– Congresswoman Dean previously served as state representative for Pennsylvania’s 153rd District from 2012 to 2018, and is currently serving her second term as the congresswoman for Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District. As a state legislator, Representative Dean co-founded the still-active PA SAFE Caucus—a gun safety group authoring and advocating for a host of legislative responses to our country’s high rates of gun violence. In her first term in Congress, Representative Dean’s first piece of legislation centered on the need to address ghost guns, which are untraceable and undetectable firearms that can be bought online without a background check. She has also been a leading voice in the push to require universal background checks and to close the Charleston loophole as a member of both the Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce and the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Madeleine Dean is a solutions-oriented legislator whose leadership on this issue we desperately need. Congresswoman Dean must be sent back to Washington DC, where she’ll continue to stand up to the NRA, gun lobby lobbyists, and anyone who stands in the way of gun safety progress. 
  • Dwight Evans (PA-03): Congressman Dwight Evans represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes large portions of the city of Philadelphia. He was first elected in a special election in November 2016 and previously served as a state representative for 36 years. Throughout his career, Congressman Evans has always put a tremendous focus on ending gun violence. When running for mayor of Philadelphia in 1999, Representative Evans made suing gun manufacturers a key part of his campaign platform, and in Congress, he has been a lead co-sponsor of the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act—a law that provides immunity to firearm manufacturers, distributors, and dealers, often denying survivors of gun violence their day in court. With a gun safety majority in the House on the line this November, it is critical to reelect gun safety champions like Congressman Dwight Evans. We know that he will always work to keep his community safe and reduce spiking rates of violence across Pennsylvania.
  • Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06): In 2018, Representative Houlahan ran a campaign focused on gun safety and won, capitalizing on the determination of her voters to send someone to Washington DC to pass universal background checks, allocate funding for gun violence research, and keep guns away from individuals who have committed domestic abuse. Prior to becoming the first woman ever to represent Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan had a wide-ranging career that included serving in the Air Force, leading organizations in the public and private sectors, and teaching high school chemistry. Once in office, Congresswoman Houlahan kept her word to her constituents and co-sponsored groundbreaking legislation like the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. She made gun safety a personal legislative priority and even shined a light on the issue by inviting a mother impacted by gun violence to the 2019 State of the Union Address. As a military veteran, Representative Houlahan understands the threat that guns pose to civilians because she has witnessed their impact as weapons of war. She has been a fearless gun safety champion in Congress and she will continue to be in the years to come.
  • Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05): Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon has long been a gun safety advocate. While her determination to tackle this issue goes back decades, Representative Scanlon recently redoubled her efforts to end America’s epidemic of gun violence after being personally confronted with it during a carjacking last year. In the wake of the incident, Congresswoman Scanlon called for the passage of commonsense gun safety measures and voiced support for needed investments in community policing, mental health services, and initiatives that would reduce poverty and keep Pennsylvanians off the streets. True to form, her words were followed with quick action. In Congress, Representative Scanlon played a key role in passing the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act through the House. She is also fighting to close major loopholes in our gun laws that have allowed individuals who have committed domestic abuse and those who seek to cause harm to purchase guns. This year, Representative Scanlon introduced her own legislation to prevent gun sellers from circumventing technology companies’ terms of service by making it illegal to fraudulently sell firearms and ammunition online. She has also called on the ATF to more adequately enforce federal firearms laws and provide needed oversight of the firearms industry. With our gun safety majority on the line this November, it is more important than ever that we send champions like Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon back to Washington in 2023. We know she will continue to find the courage to act to end gun violence and protect children and families across her state.
  • 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.