Giffords Celebrates Gun Safety Majority in the US Senate
Washington DC — Today, Giffords PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, celebrated the key wins necessary to maintain a gun safety majority in the United States Senate. Giffords PAC endorsed gun safety champions across the country running for the US Senate, all of whom pledged to take action on rising rates of gun violence and build on the successes of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Giffords PAC campaigned and invested in critical races in Colorado and Pennsylvania that resulted in Senator Bennet’s reelection and Senator-elect Fetterman’s election.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“This summer, for the first time in nearly 30 years, Congress took action and passed federal gun safety legislation—thanks to the leadership of a bipartisan group of senators. Voters across the country are concerned about rising levels of gun violence and sent many of these leaders back to Washington to do more to make their communities safer. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act represented a significant step forward, but more work remains. A majority of gun safety champions in the US Senate is critical to future progress on this issue. We look forward to working with these senators and senators-elect in our fight to end gun violence.”
Read a full memo on Giffords’ political program HERE. Key highlights are below:
Gun safety was a priority for voters this election.
Gun violence has become a kitchen table issue, ranking among the economy and abortion as top concerns for voters in this election. Study after study shows that gun laws work, and poll after poll (including exit polls) indicates that gun laws are popular with a bipartisan majority of Americans. Gun violence has been a critical component of the past three elections, and it will remain so for years to come.
Research shows that gun violence is fueling recent crime rises, and polling shows that voters know this. New polling from Politico/Morning Consult finds that over half of voters (55%) believe that guns are a major reason for the rise in violent crime, and 60% say that gun policy will play a major role in their vote this November. Giffords’s own polling shows that the majority of battleground voters blame criminals having easy access to guns (59% major factor) and an increase in illegal guns (58% major factor) for the increase in crime they believe is occurring.
Giffords played a leading role in getting out the gun safety vote.
Giffords hit the road this election season to highlight the contrast among candidates on this issue by investing in purple-state ad buys, outreach efforts to Hispanic voters in Florida, and a robust candidate services program. Tuesday’s results prove that gun violence prevention has the power to bring swing and suburban voters back into the Democratic coalition.
Overall, Giffords invested $10 million in support of gun safety candidates across the country, which included $5 million in TV and digital ads in Pennsylvania and Colorado’s senate races and more than $1 million in Florida. Giffords launched its first state program, Giffords Florida, earlier this year to build an infrastructure of gun safety candidates in the Sunshine State for years to come.
In addition to its monetary investment, Giffords held more than 67 events across the country in support of candidates, including critical events in Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin in the month before the election.
Passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act helped candidates in key battlegrounds.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act represents the first significant federal gun safety legislation to become law in nearly 30 years. Gun lobby leaders like the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) opposed the law, while the gun violence prevention community, led by Giffords, prevailed.
This is proof that we can see progress on this issue. Fifteen Republicans voted for this legislation, a drastic sea change from 2013, when the Manchin-Toomey bill failed. The politics of gun safety have shifted since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. For the first time in at least 25 years, no Democrats have an “A” rating from the NRA. Polling also shows that voters want more gun safety laws. A recent poll found that 62% of voters believe that passing additional gun safety legislation is an important and top priority for Congress.
This election shows that voters are rejecting the gun lobby and siding with the gun violence prevention movement. Half of Americans view the NRA unfavorably, and according to another survey, less than half of gun owners support the NRA. Responsible gun owners are joining Giffords Gun Owners for Safety and taking an active role in pushing for safer gun laws.
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