May 21, 2015 – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), issued the below statement today after the bipartisan vote in the Oregon State Senate to approve SB 525, which helps close gaps in Oregon law by ensuring that individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or named in a restraining order that has been upheld in a court hearing can’t have legal access to guns. The victory comes on the heels of enactment of background checks legislation, for which Giffords, Kelly, and ARS had also advocated. Their statement:
“Guns and domestic violence are a tragic and often deadly mix. And today, the Oregon State Senate voted to do something about it. Republicans and Democrats stood up for commonsense solutions that limit abusers’ access to guns. We hope that leaders in the House do the responsible thing and follow suit by passing this important legislation. It will make Oregon’s families safer,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, Co-Founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions. “As the House begins to considers this critical legislation, we hope its leaders keep in mind that not only is this bill the right thing to do, but there is widespread support among their constituents for these kinds of commonsense changes to Oregon’s laws.”
Earlier this month, Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly visited Salem’s Center for Hope and Safety, which serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and stalking, and called on lawmakers to pass SB 525 and help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Nationally, women in the U.S. are 11 times likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other developed countries, and more than half of all murders of America’s women are committed with a gun. Abused women are also five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.