Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly Statement on the President’s Announcement to Immediately Strengthen Our Nation’s Gun Laws, Narrow Loopholes in the Background Check System

January 4, 2016 – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions, today applauded President Obama following the announcement that his Administration will exercise its existing authority to strengthen our nation’s gun laws by narrowing the loopholes that let people buy guns without a background check and strengthening the existing background check system through improved reporting and enforcement. The Administration’s commonsense step will dramatically reduce the number of firearms sold in the United Stated without a background check.

“We thank the President for standing up to the gun lobby and announcing the most significant national achievement for gun safety since the Brady Bill 22 years ago. About 33 Americans are murdered with a gun every single day, and Congress has done something truly amazing: nothing at all. The Administration’s leadership will significantly narrow the loopholes that let dangerous people buy guns without a background check – a step that the majority of Americans, including Republicans and gun owners like us, support,” said Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly. “This strong effort will ensure more gun sales will be covered by a criminal background check, the background check system will be strengthened, and fewer guns will fall into the wrong hands. Important improvements include addressing the Charleston tragedy by increasing background check staff, revealing which states do and don’t report essential background check records, requiring dealers to report lost or stolen guns, calling for big new investments in mental health care, and more. We applaud President Obama, Vice President Biden, Attorney General Lynch, and the rest of the Administration for their leadership – leadership that will undoubtedly save lives.”

A recent survey of likely 2016 voters conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions found that a supermajority of voters – along with a majority of Republicans and gun owners – support White House action requiring currently unlicensed high-volume gun sellers to conduct background checks on all buyers, including online and at gun shows. In the survey, 73 percent of voters said they support “an executive action by President Obama that would require anyone who sells a large number of guns per year to become a licensed gun dealer and require background checks on all of their gun sales, including those sold online or at gun shows,” with a 53-percent majority saying they strongly support such action and only 25 percent opposing it. A 56 percent majority of self-ascribed Republicans, 64 percent of gun owners and 56 percent of voters who are favorably disposed toward the National Rifle Association also support a White House executive action. Click here to read more.

Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly met several times with President Obama and administration officials in 2014 and 2015 to advocate for these steps. Most recently, Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly met with President Obama in the Oval Office on December 4, 2015 and urged him to act.