Giffords PAC Endorses Slate of Gun Safety Champions for Reelection
Washington DC — Today, Giffords PAC, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced its endorsement of nine incumbents running for reelection to the US House of Representatives.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“The incumbents that Giffords PAC is endorsing today have all campaigned on gun safety platforms and won – and in Congress, they’ve delivered on their promises by achieving real results for the American people. Just last month, these members joined their colleagues in passing the first federal gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years – and while our representatives in Congress have made incredible progress this term, there is still so much more to be done.
“Our country is at a crossroads, and we need leaders in Washington who are committed to combating the gun violence epidemic that continues to ravage our communities. Each of these gun safety champions understands the urgency that this moment requires, and I know they will not stop until our cities and towns are protected from senseless tragedies. Strong leadership is imperative to building a safer future for all Americans, and our elected officials must find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and act on this life or death issue. I know that these leaders will always put the wellbeing of their constituents first, and I am proud to endorse their reelection campaigns. Together, we can make a difference and save lives across the United States.”
The slate of endorsed candidates includes:
- Shontel Brown (OH-11): Representative Shontel Brown has consistently proven herself to be a passionate public servant who can deliver real results for the people of Northeast Ohio. In Washington, Representative Brown has fought for universal background checks on all gun sales, stressed the importance of instituting waiting periods for gun purchases, and advocated for a ban on assault weapons. For Representative Brown, this issue is personal—her community has often been plagued by gun violence and too many lives have been put at risk. She knows that everyone deserves to live a life free from senseless violence, and she’s committed to taking on the reckless gun lobby and getting dangerous weapons off of her community’s streets. Throughout her time in Congress, Representative Brown has worked to address the root causes of gun violence, adequately fund community violence intervention programs, and do more to address gun suicides.
- Sean Casten (IL-06): In 2018, Representative Sean Casten flipped Illinois’s 6th District blue and sent an NRA-backed incumbent into early retirement—becoming the first Democrat to represent his constituents in over 50 years. Throughout his tenure, Representative Casten has been a vocal supporter of critical gun safety reforms and has a strong record of pushing for substantial measures to prevent harm. While his home state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, dangerous weapons have flowed into Illinois because of the weak gun laws of its neighboring states. To help combat this deadly trend, Representative Casten sponsored the Gun Trafficker Detection Act, which would enhance a state’s ability to track weapons trafficked across state lines. Representative Casten has also pushed for legislation that would require background checks on all gun sales, ban assault weapons, mandate the safe storage of firearms, and close dangerous loopholes that allow domestic abusers to obtain weapons.
- Debbie Dingell (MI-06): Representative Debbie Dingell has been a leading voice for gun violence prevention efforts for years, and she understands the urgency needed to save lives better than most. Having grown up in a home where her father used guns to abuse her family, Representative Dingell acutely understands the pain and trauma our nation’s weak gun laws cause women and children every single day. In Congress, Representative Dingell has been a leader in the fight to protect women from violence by working to close the dating partner loophole. In 2022, she was a vocal advocate for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which addressed the kinds of glaring loopholes in our laws that put survivors of abuse at risk, provided states with needed funding to implement extreme risk laws, and bolstered community violence intervention programs. Representative Dingell has also taken on the gun industry directly by introducing legislation like the Defective Firearms Protection Act, which ensures that gun manufacturers can’t escape liability for defective weapons.
- Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03): Like many families in her district in rural New Mexico, Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez was born into a gun-owning household and was raised in a family that hunted as a way of life. Representative Leger Fernandez brings this valuable experience to her work in Congress and her fight to ensure that all of our families and communities can live free from gun violence. First elected in 2020, Representative Leger Fernandez has already made her mark as a champion for gun violence prevention in the House, especially for communities of color. She cosponsored the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and spoke powerfully on the House floor in support of closing the Charleston loophole. She was an original cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and was particularly outspoken on House efforts to close both the boyfriend and stalker loopholes. As the voice for a district where far too many families have faced the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, Representative Leger Fernandez has worked tirelessly to shine a light on the intersection of gun violence, domestic violence, and the federal government’s obligations to Native communities.
- John Garamendi (CA-08): Representative John Garamendi has been a supporter of commonsense gun violence prevention legislation throughout his career. In 1989, he represented the city of Stockton in the California Senate during the Cleveland Elementary School shooting that killed six people and injured 32 others. This horrific mass shooting led him to introduce California’s assault weapons ban—the first of its kind to be signed into law in the US. Representative Garamendi’s framework would go on to serve as a template for the federal assault weapons ban, which was in effect from 1994 until 2004. In Congress, Representative Garamendi has consistently supported legislation that would close background check loopholes, crack down on gun trafficking, hold negligent manufacturers accountable, and help states implement extreme risk laws.
- Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): As chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Pramila Jayapal has led her colleagues with courage and conviction and has always put the interests of the American people first. She is a determined advocate for the types of commonsense solutions needed to protect children and families across the country. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Jayapal helped pass an ambitious package of gun safety legislation through the House—the Protecting Our Kids Act—which addressed numerous issues like safe storage and the proliferation of ghost guns. Additionally, she introduced the bipartisan Preventing Suicide Through Voluntary Firearm Purchase Delay Act, which allows individuals to enroll themselves in a voluntary firearm purchase delay list for firearms in times of crisis.
- John Larson (CT-01): Representative John Larson has been a strong voice for gun violence prevention throughout his career. After the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, Representative Larson teamed up with the late Representative John Lewis to organize an unprecedented sit-in on the House floor, demanding a vote on commonsense gun safety measures. As a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, he proudly voted for the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and has also pushed for universal background checks, a ban on bump stocks, and restrictions on the capacity of firearm magazines. As a firm believer in community-led solutions, Representative Larson has championed local violence intervention organizations. As part of the last annual appropriations law, he secured more than $1 million for Mothers United Against Violence and Hartford Communities That Care – two organizations in the Greater Hartford area that address gun violence through victim support, mental health programs, and workforce development initiatives.
- Kathy Manning (NC-06): Representative Kathy Manning has been a tireless advocate for gun safety since she was first elected to represent North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District in 2020. As a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Representative Manning knows that Congress must do more to implement bipartisan measures to keep our kids, families, and communities safe from the scourge of gun violence. During her time in Congress, she has fought to ban the sale of high capacity magazines and implement extreme risk laws to protect people from harming themselves and others. She knows that we need to raise the minimum age to buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21, and has voted to ban the sale and manufacture of dangerous ghost guns. In 2021, she voted to expand background checks to all gun sales – and throughout her tenure, Representative Manning has been an advocate for stronger safe storage requirements.
- Adam Schiff (CA-30): As the chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff knows the risks America’s weak gun laws pose to our national security, and he’s fought tirelessly throughout his career to strengthen firearms regulations and keep his constituents safe. Horrified by the reality that the loved ones of those killed by gun violence were left with little to no legal recourse to take on the gun industry, Representative Schiff introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act. This legislation would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which gives the gun industry unprecedented legal immunity, and hold gun manufacturers accountable. In Congress, Representative Schiff has also made the passage of a broad range of commonsense gun safety policies a top priority. He is an original co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require a background check for every gun sale or transfer, and supports legislation to fund and expand research into the root causes of gun violence. Representative Schiff also believes that we should pass legislation to trace and prosecute straw purchasers and gun traffickers, ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and increase resources for state and local law enforcement to quickly alert communities to deadly threats.
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