A gun policy reform advocacy group founded by and named after former Democratic Arizona Congresswoman and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords is vowing to take action in this year’s midterm elections against those members of Congress who opposed the gun control legislation recently signed into law by President Biden.
In an interview this week with Fox News Digital, Giffords’ managing director Robin Lloyd praised the largely Democrat-backed legislation called the Safer Communities Act, as well as the 15 Republican senators who voted in favor of its passage, and touted the organization’s plans to spend $10 million this election cycle advocating for policies to end gun violence.
“I think it’s really significant that we, at the federal level, have finally had a breakthrough in gun policy for the first time in almost 30 years, and that 15 Republicans in the Senate, who have historically refused to take any action at all on the issue of gun safety, came together to help pass this legislation that was signed into law,” Lloyd said of the bill, which has been described as the strictest piece of gun control legislation in decades.
“I think that really shows you how big of an issue this is for American families all across this country,” she added. “American families were talking about this day in and day out … And that legislation was very much in response to those conversations.”
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When asked if she thought Democrats’ focus on the issue of gun control could help their unlikely chances of maintaining control of the House of Representatives this November due to their unpopularity and historical trends, Lloyd predicted those that supported the legislation would benefit.
“I think people that voted for this legislation at the federal level are absolutely going to be talking about it on the campaign trail. And I think that their constituents are going to like to hear that they voted for it,” she said.
“I think in cases where we had members of Congress or senators who didn’t vote for this legislation, groups like ours and other groups all across the country are going to make sure that their voters know that they did not support this proposal and these common sense gun safety proposals,” she added.
Despite passage of the bill, Lloyd argued that there was an “overwhelming need for action” when it came to the sentiment her organization was hearing from Americans across the country, including voters from both political parties, independents and gun owners.
“They do not think that our gun laws are strong enough, and they think that we need to do more in Washington to keep our communities safer from gun violence,” she said, before going on to celebrate what she described as “a real shift” in the political landscape in terms of politicians and voters being willing to talk about and run for office on the issue of gun reform.
Earlier this week, Fox News Digital reached out to 19 vulnerable House Democrats to ask them if they supported President Biden’s proposed ban on “assault weapons,” but only heard back from two: One who opposed and one who supported.
When asked, Lloyd avoided speculating as to why so many Democrats would avoid speaking out concerning the proposal, but did, however, express Giffords’ support for banning “any semiautomatic long gun that can accept a large capacity magazine.”
“Assault weapons present a very clear threat to our country and our country’s safety,” she said. “They are designed to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time as possible. So they’re incredibly lethal and extremely dangerous.”
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“There’s not one issue area that needs to be dealt with. Gun violence is a complex issue and there’s many different ways we can solve it. But I think building support for assault weapons bans or ways to address assault weapons is something that is still very much a work in progress,” she added.
Lloyd’s expressed definition of an “assault weapon” ran in stark contrast to the seeming inability of others calling for such a ban to define what an “assault weapon” actually is, including Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach, who was confirmed by the Senate this week in a narrow vote.
Dettelbach’s confirmation was praised by Lloyd, who described it as “a very significant step forward,” but said there was “obviously a lot more that the administration can and should do” when it came to gun reform.
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When asked about Giffords’ plans for the midterm elections, Lloyd touted the $10 million the organization plans to spend through its political arm, Giffords PAC, and said they will “employ a variety of tactics” that includes endorsements and financial support.
She described the planned involvement as “very exciting” because, following the passage of the Safer Communities Act, they had a vote to “highlight where members of Congress and senators are on the issue and who supports the bill and who did not.”
Lloyd then described the candidates Giffords would be supporting as those who have expressed “support for background checks on all guns sales, support for community violence intervention programs,” and support for “the policies that we think are going to make the biggest difference in addressing gun violence.”
She went on to stress the importance of gun owners also having a say in future gun legislation, as well as the ability to find compromise.
“Our organization is led by a survivor of gun violence, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. But Gabby is also a gun owner. And when she was in Congress, she always tried to find the middle ground on very complicated issues. So that permeates the ethos of our organization,” she said.
We’re here to fight gun violence day in and day out, but we want to work with anybody that has an interest in doing that, and that includes gun owners … to make sure that their voices are at the table when we’re talking about these very important policies,” she added.