Giffords Creates AZ Gun-Safety Coalition

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived being shot in the head at a constituent rally in 2011, announced a new coaliton she and husband Mark Kelly said will promote gun safety and keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. (Photo by Kaddie Stephens/Cronkite News)

By Kaddie Stephens

PHOENIX – Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who became a gun-control advocate after a gunman shot her in the head while opening fire at a constituent rally six years ago, on Thursday announced an Arizona coalition to promote gun safety and prevent violence.

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, said they formed Arizona Coalition for Common Sense to focus on closing legal loopholes that allowed people who shouldn’t have access to guns to buy and own firearms.

“We have loopholes in our laws that allow dangerous people easy access to firearms,” Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, said at a news conference. “Felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill have an option to buy a gun without a background check.”

Gabrielle Giffords speaks with members of the newly created Arizona Coalition for Common Sense. Members include business leaders, government officials, law enforcement officers and educators. (Photo by Kaddie Stephens/Cronkite News)

Charles Heller, media coordinator for the Arizona Citizens Defense League, which advocates for people’s constitutional right to carry guns, said legal loopholes in the state’s gun laws do not exist.

The members of the Giffords-Kelly coalition include gun owners, veterans, law enforcement officials, educators and business leaders who are dedicated to keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people, according to a news release.

“Stopping gun violence takes courage,” Giffords said. “Now is the time to come together and be responsible.”

Giffords was seriously wounded at a constituent meeting in Tucson when Jared Lee Loughner started firing into the crowd. Six people died and 12 others were wounded. Loughner is serving consecutive life sentences.

Giffords, a Democrat from Tucson, resigned from Congress after the shooting. On the second anniversary of the shooting, she and Kelly founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, an advocacy group “for responsible gun ownership.“

Giffords and Kelly own guns, he said, and acknowledge guns are part of Western culture. But, he said, the prevalence of guns in Arizona emphasizes the need for responsible gun ownership and legal reforms.

Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, worked with his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, to create the Arizona Coalition for Common Sense to help close what they call legal loopholes in gun laws. (Photo by Kaddie Stephens/Cronkite News)

“That is exactly why we need our leaders to do everything they can to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who want to do our families and communities harm,” Kelly said.

Kelly said Arizona had more than 3,000 firearms-related deaths last year, saying that is 40 percent higher than the national average. Domestic violence often is fueled by gun use, he said.

Heller said gun laws in Arizona already protect residents.

“There’s a possibility that they’re totally unaware of the laws that already exist making it illegal for domestic abusers to purchase a gun,” Heller said of Kelly and Giffords. “It’s been illegal since 1996 for a domestic abuser to purchase a firearm.”

Heller said restrictions on buying guns in the state would only make it more difficult for law-abiding people.

“It’s a move towards making it more difficult for honest people to purchase guns,” Heller said. “That scares people like Congresswoman Giffords.”

20 Comments on "Giffords Creates AZ Gun-Safety Coalition"

  1. It’s amazing to me that an intelligent Congresswoman and an Astronaut for God’s sake do not get that the term ‘gun law’ is simply an oxymoron to criminals. Like drinking and driving, stealing, home invasions, car jacking, murder by strangulation, kidnapping, child abuse and well you could go on and on. Do you really think more ‘feel good ‘ laws will stop these crimes? These people that are pushing for more and harsher gun laws need to just stop and take some serious time to read the laws already in place. Turn your angry agenda towards the damn judges that rule for probation and plea bargaining as if all these criminals are family members! A great example of where the laws really need toughening would be for sex offending child abusers. If you don’t believe this just go to the Tucson Police or the Sheriff’s website and look at how many sex offenders are out in the streets and in your very own neighborhoods. You will be shocked. Maybe working and using your energy to stop this would actually be a productive use of your time.

  2. Connor, Yes you are absolutely right, BUT, then you will be taking ‘food’ out of the princesses mouth since this is just a $$ maker for her and hers. You think these type people do this for altruistic reason? Fat chance, 1 t keeps their name in the news, 2. it makes them feel important, 3 and they think it is their RIGHT to tell you how to do things.

    Just another gimmick to convince people they are wrong IF they can think WITHOUT the guidance these types think they provide. Listening to the radio yesterday it sounded like they maybe had 5 or 6 attendees when she completed her rant. No things were pretty quiet while she was out of touch and that is why they had to re-imerge in order to feel the love they were missing.

    Examples exist all over of what you say. Yes USE current laws as each offence where a weapon is USED requires 5 additional years per event. But you never hear about this stuff since the darlings are plead down and let go as minor offenders. No new laws not needed, just better enforcement.

  3. The anti-gunners will always be there. Gabby & Mark both own guns and have fired them in their own backyard (video on-line). They must get funding from the DNC as all the DNC players are in the background of the photo shoot. More BS from the DNC!

  4. Kelly states there were 3000 fire-arms related deaths last year in Arizona – in a quick check of the statistics I found which was 2014 there was 917 firearm deaths, of which there were 322 homicides ; while in comparison there were 3322 deaths of accident, 1084 from chronic liver disease and 883 from hypertension… so HE LIED – would this be called “FAKE NEWS”? Kinda seems that way.. is he not busy enough building his balloon to fly away in business?

  5. BTW – the stats I quote are from the CDC for Arizona.

  6. Sadly Princess Gabby is the new spokes-puppet poster girl for the gun hating clueless liberals. Her and hubby would love nothing better than a new gun law with their names as author.

  7. We have loopholes in our laws that allow idiots to be members of Congress and Senators.

  8. Major Fubar | March 17, 2017 at 7:11 am |

    “Kelly said Arizona had more than 3,000 firearms-related deaths last year”. Really? Got anything to back that up Mark? Or just another one of your anti-gun lies?

  9. Another lib progressive trying to remain relevant within a political party that is no longer relevant. Without the princess Kelly’s anticipated run for Flake’s seat in 2018 would go nowhere. As Old Guy above stated she is the darling of the new progressive socialists, and we can count on seeing her at any of Kelly’s speaking engagements.

  10. What we need is more gun legislation. What number of laws have to be broken to enact enforcement? What number of laws does it take to file a simple disturbance of the peace. This starts the ball rolling. What number of laws need to be suspended to say threats dont matter until action is done? All these laws are there so wee need more legislation to make sure laws are followed? Then enforced do you think LaWall can get off the front porch long enough to see what went in the front door?

  11. There IS responsible gun ownership throughout the state of Arizona, which apparently Kelly has totally ignored. Otherwise, there would be a whole lot more accidental shootings. Under the leadership of former-Sheriff Dupnik, deputies were called out several times to the house of Loughner’s parents where he was living. However, he was not arrested for domestic violence, which he should have been and if that had happened, he wouldn’t have had a fire arm by which he took so many innocent lives and damaged others.

  12. “Isn’t this what the community wants – to get guns, even just 600 of them, even broke ones, out of circulation?” — From a Arizona Daily Star editorial titled, “Legal shootout over nothing”
    There it is for you, folks; the mentality of your basic, garden-variety gun-grabber. They live in an alternative universe where good intentions and symbolism over substance rules. When people die because the laws these self-proclaimed do-gooders prevent them from protecting themselves, it isn’t their fault; they had good intentions.
    Oddly, we read time and time again where these same people are found to have their own guns. Case-in-point: In February of 2011 Democrat (who knew?), State Senator R.C. Soles, a long-time Anti-Gun advocate shot an intruder. These people are advocates of the, “protection for me, but not for thee” policy.
    I can cite many more similar instances, but you get the idea.

  13. Ray Cusack | March 17, 2017 at 9:22 am |

    Obviously, Gifford and Kelly have failed to do their research either with respect to the current status of gun laws in Arizona or the proper statistics regarding gun related injuries. This is just another attempt for them to stay in the news and to impose their own ideas of conduct on others. They should look to curing the problem created by far too liberal judges who refuse to enforce the current laws applicable to criminals using guns.

  14. Arizona Coalition For Common Sense?

    Who let them join? Their politics exemplify a total lack of same.

  15. Someone please confirm… the similar article I read in the Star has no comments. Nor have many other articles as of late. Did the Star just ban comments altogether?

  16. Giffords is wrong. “Stopping gun violence” does not “take courage,” simply because EVERYONE SUPPORTS that goal as the make up of her own group shows.

  17. Is the Arizona Coalition For Common Sense financed by Soros? With Kelly as one of their spokesmen, it certainly sounds like that’s the case. Yet another organization for Tillerson to investigate.

  18. Mr. Kelly… using your semi-brain dead partner for your own political and financial advantage is despicable You have the same moral code as the leftist crazy that shot your sympathy puppet.

    What? You just found out how much a new Tesla is going to cost?

  19. The Oracle of Tucson | March 17, 2017 at 10:11 pm |

    Poor mindless Gabby, or what’s left of her, has become a mere prop for husband Marks tirades against firearms. Jarold Lee Laughner shot Gabby and no matter how much we blame the gun, he’s still the perp in this case.
    At every rally, Mark inserts his favorite prop of choice (Gabby) in order to add credence and subsistence, to draw sympathy to his misguided lame attacks on firearms. I’m sure from a distance Mark could almost pass for intelligent, it’s just up close, person to person that he becomes a misguided monstrous monumental disappointment of humanity consumed in his hate and anger.
    In all seriousness, Mark and Gabby are both retired, they need to fade away and go away into obscurity, they need to move on and enjoy each other and what they have left.
    America has a severe mental health problem which allowed someone like Laughner who was known to the Pima Community College (PCC) police to be a danger to himself and others to buy a gun. Had the PCC police just remotely pretended to do their job, had “to protect and to serve” been more than just some feel good writing on the side of the police car, Gabby would still be fully healthy and well. But the PCC police failed in the arena of public safety, they failed to protect the public and they failed Gabby as well as everyone else impacted by the events of the Jan 8th rampage. Attacking the system that allowed this purchase would be far more prudent than attacking an inanimate object like a firearm.
    Gabby, for the most part, was tame and harmless, Not that anyone deserved to be shot, but Laughner was indeed clearly insane to pick her over “others”.
    Her attack was beyond senseless, an overt act perpetrated by a total raving lunatic.
    Sadly Mark Kelly and his anti-gun PAC has lowered himself to the level of a common troll. It is beyond disrespectful to the many years of public service by Gabby to parade her about as a circus freak to satisfy Marks morbid sense of anger at forearms over what happened to her, again blaming a firearm over Laughner, reducing her to nothing more than a mere insertable prop.
    Gabby is a victim of senseless violence, but Marks actions are no accident, he’s deliberately parading her about as a circus freak simply to draw support for his own misguided anger filled agenda.
    Shame on you Mark Kelly……
    Shame on you…..


  20. Desert Rose | March 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm |

    Johnny C – where did you hear that Gabby is going to run for Flake’s seat in 2018? I personally don’t know how she could do that on her own, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

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