Congressional Candidate Martha McSally Reverses Position on “Stalker Gap” in Response to ARS PAC Advertising

September 23, 2014 – Congressional candidate Martha McSally has announced she has changed her position on the ”Stalker Gap,” which allows stalkers with misdemeanor convictions to access guns while those convicted of felonies and domestic violence misdemeanors are prohibited.

Previously, McSally had opposed any new background checks laws. Today, she reversed course by saying she ”supports adding misdemeanor stalking to the list of criminal offenses that would keep dangerous individuals from obtaining guns in other states where stalking can also be a misdemeanor.”

The shift comes after ARS PAC advertising featured the voices of women who had lost loved ones to criminals and stalkers who had access to guns. They can be viewed HERE and HERE.

Critical questions remain about McSally’s positions on gun violence prevention legislation:

- Groups such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence support policies that would require background checks at gun shows and online in order to prevent felons and domestic abusers from skirting the background check system and accessing guns. Does Martha McSally support or oppose legislation that would expand background checks to cover gun show and internet sales?

- Those groups also support updating the definition of ”domestic abuser” to include dating partners. This would close the loophole that allows those convicted of domestic abuse against a dating partner to access guns (people with misdemeanor convictions for domestic abuse against a spouse, live-in partner, or fellow parent of a child are already prohibited). Does Martha McSally support or oppose legislation that would prohibit individuals convicted of domestic abuse against a dating partner from accessing firearms?

Captain Mark Kelly’s Statement on the Shooting in Bell, Florida

September 18, 2014 -

”Once again, a senseless act of gun violence has destroyed a family and children’s lives. And once again, the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation led to a deadly and sad outcome. While we still have not learned all of the details, we know that under our laws, the individual who committed this monstrous crime should not have had access to a gun. Gabby and I can only pray for the victims and ask how this might have been prevented. Like so many other Americans tonight, our hearts are in Bell, Florida.”

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ARS PAC Releases New Ad Highlighting Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s Leadership on Reducing Gun Violence

ARS PAC Releases New Ad Highlighting Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s Leadership on Reducing Gun Violence

New Research in Pennsylvania’s 8th District Shows Voters Support Commonsense Gun Safety Proposals

Fitzpatrick Cosponsored Bipartisan House Bill to Strengthen Gun Background Check System

September 18, 2014 - Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) today announced it will air a new 30-second ad titled “Not Afraid To Lead” that highlights Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s bipartisan leadership on proposals that would help make communities safer from gun violence.

Watch ”Not Afraid to Lead” here: http://youtu.be/j6rI9p1pks8

Congressman Fitzpatrick has represented Pennsylvania’s Eighth Congressional District (PA-08) since 2011. In 2013, Congressman Fitzpatrick cosponsored bipartisan legislation authored by Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY) that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases online and at guns shows, and strengthened reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

ARS PAC also announced the findings of recent research in PA-08 showing that Congressman Fitzpatrick’s support for gun violence prevention policies reflects the views and values of voters in this traditional swing district. Among the findings:

  • Ninety percent of voters support expanded background checks on all gun sales;

  • Eighty-eight percent of voters support preventing the sales of guns to domestic abusers and stalkers; and,

  • A majority of gun owners said they consider requiring background checks on all gun sales a “excellent” idea.

Click here for the research memo.

”We need more bipartisan leaders like Mike Fitzpatrick in Congress – leaders who aren’t afraid to stand up to powerful special interests and to stand up for commonsense solutions to gun violence,” said Hayley Zachary, Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions. ”By reaching across the aisle to cosponsor legislation to close loopholes on gun sales, Congressman Fitzpatrick was not only showing some leadership, but reflecting the reasonable views of his constituents.”

The ad is backed by a six-figure buy and will air for at least two weeks on broadcast and cable in the Philadelphia market.

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ARS PAC Launches New Ads In New Hampshire’s Congressional Races, Releases New Research on Support for Gun Violence Prevention Laws in the Granite State

September 17, 2014

ARS PAC Launches New Ads In New Hampshire’s Congressional Races, Releases New Research on Support for Gun Violence Prevention Laws in the Granite State

Frank Guinta, Marilinda Garcia Oppose Closing Loophole That Allows Stalkers to Buy A Gun Without A Background Check

Granite Staters Support Laws That Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Stalkers and Domestic Abusers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) today announced it will air two new 30-second ads in both of New Hampshire’s congressional races highlighting the opposition of NH-01 candidate Frank Guinta and NH-02 candidate Marilinda Garcia to closing loopholes that allow domestic abusers, stalkers and the dangerously mentally ill to buy guns.

Watch ”Wrong Priorities” here: http://youtu.be/BvbIG5_PPbE

Watch ”Strange Ideas” here: http://youtu.be/EF5INgQBbkQ

ARS PAC also announced new research showing that a broad majority of Granite State voters support laws to prevent gun violence like requiring background checks for all gun sales (85%) and preventing the sale of guns to convicted domestic abusers and stalkers (83%).

The research also found Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter leading Frank Guinta 45%-43% and Congresswoman Annie Kuster leading Marilinda Garcia 44% to 38%.

Click here for the research memo.

”Granite State voters deserve to know if the people running to represent them share their commitment to passing responsible laws that help make our communities safer from gun violence,” said Hayley Zachary, Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions. ”When it comes to policies that reduce gun violence, Frank Guinta and Marilinda Garcia are out of step with Granite Staters and in lockstep with the corporate gun lobby.”

Both ads are backed by a six-figure buy and will air on both cable and broadcast for at least two weeks.

Gabby’s op-ed in TIME: Congress Must Act to Help Protect Women From Gun Violence

http://ti.me/ZksdWa

20 Years After VAWA, There’s Much More Work To Do

By Gabrielle Giffords

September 12, 2014

Some said it would be too hard – impossible, even.

Two decades ago, a broad and brave coalition of determined women’s advocates, domestic violence survivors and fair-minded leaders in Congress set out to do what some said could not be done: pass a law that helped protect women and their families from the scourge of domestic violence.

The proposal, called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), took badly needed steps toward protecting women. It gave judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials new tools to combat violence; it strengthened services for survivors and their families; and, for the first time under federal law, ensured that dangerous individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders couldn’t have easy access to guns.

Still, securing the needed support for the law was no easy fight. There was obstruction, willful misrepresentation, and needless gridlock. Entrenched special interests sprang into action; inaction was their goal.

The proposal, called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), took badly needed steps toward protecting women. It gave judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials new tools to combat violence; it strengthened services for survivors and their families; and, for the first time under federal law, ensured that dangerous individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders couldn’t have easy access to guns.

But Americans made their voices heard, and Congress passed VAWA with the votes of Democrats and Republicans alike.

And so, 20 years ago this weekend, then-President Bill Clinton made the Violence Against Women Act the law of the land – a real victory of common sense and courage over the status quo.

Since its passage, VAWA has been a staggering success in making our communities safer. Annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than half. The law has saved lives and kept guns out of the hands of countless domestic abusers. But 20 years later, there is still more work to do to make women safer from gun violence. Because of VAWA and subsequent updates to the law, individuals who are under domestic violence protection orders or have misdemeanor domestic violence convictions can’t legally buy or own guns. But even though many couples are choosing to marry later in life, our laws haven’t been updated to address dating partner abuse. And convicted stalkers can still get guns.

With such glaring loopholes in our gun laws, guns sometimes fall into the wrong hands – and the results for women are often tragic. Most of the time, women are murdered with guns by someone they know, either by a family member or an intimate partner, like a former or current husband or boyfriend. In domestic abuse situations, if the abuser has access to a gun, it increases the chance that a woman will die by 500 percent.

This is one reason why American women are 11 times more likely to be shot to death than their peers in other countries, and why more American women were killed by gunfire by a partner between 2001 and 2012 than the total number of American troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

That is not the America we strive for, is it?

That’s why it’s time for Congress to build on the legacy and success of the Violence Against Women Act by closing the loopholes that let dangerous stalkers and abusive dating partners buy guns.

There are several commonsense proposals before Congress right now that would help address the nexus of gun crime and domestic violence – and they would do nothing to limit the rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners. In fact, for those of us who own guns and cherish our Second Amendment rights, these laws should be a welcome step. Because every time guns fall into the wrong hands and are used to intimidate, injure, or murder women, it erodes the rights of responsible gun owners everywhere.

Passing these laws wouldn’t prevent every act of gun violence against women, but there is no doubt they would save women’s lives. They are the commonsense thing to do.

Over the last two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has been reauthorized, improved, and updated several times. Sometimes, a small minority of legislators and powerful special interests – standing on the wrong side of history and far out of step with the vast majority of Americans – has fought it. But each time, Democrats and Republicans have voted for commonsense and safety. And thankfully, each time they have prevailed.

With lots of hard work, and with reasonable Americans making their voices heard, I hope that a similar bipartisan group of leaders can forge the hard but necessary path of making America’s women safer from gun violence. It won’t be easy. But it will save lives.

 

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