ARS PAC Statement on Reports That a Senior Aide to Donald Trump Allegedly Pulled a Gun on a Colleague, Behavior Was Reported, And the Trump Campaign Failed to Act in a Timely Manner

August 11, 2016 – Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, issued the below statement today following reports that a senior aide to presidential candidate Donald Trump allegedly pulled a gun on a colleague, that his behavior was reported to senior campaign leadership, and that the campaign failed to act.

“Barely a day after Donald Trump recklessly suggested gun violence against Hillary Clinton and her Supreme Court nominees, we are seeing that Trump not only encourages threats of gun violence, but actually tolerates them on his own campaign. Donald Trump should immediately and unambiguously condemn any insinuation of violence in or around his campaign. Such behavior should disqualify Trump as a serious political figure, much less President of the United States.”

Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly Call on Donald Trump to Apologize to Gun Owners and Secretary Clinton for Insinuating that Second Amendment Enthusiasts Can Stop Hillary Clinton from Appointing Judges if She Becomes President

August 9, 2016 – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions, released the below statement today following Donald Trump’s remarks in Wilmington, North Carolina where he insinuated that Second Amendment enthusiasts can stop Hillary Clinton from appointing judges if she becomes president.


“Donald Trump might astound Americans on a routine basis, but we must draw a bright red line between political speech and suggestions of violence. Responsible, stable individuals won’t take Trump’s rhetoric to its literal end, but his words may provide a magnet for those seeking infamy. They may provide inspiration or permission for those bent on bloodshed.

“What political leaders say matters to their followers. When candidates descend into coarseness and insult, our politics follow suit. When they affirm violence, we should fear that violence will follow.

“It must be the responsibility of all Americans – from Donald Trump himself, to his supporters, to those who remain silent or oppose him – to unambiguously condemn these remarks and the violence they insinuate. The integrity of our democracy and the decency of our nation is at stake.”


Gabby Responds to Attacks on Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions, release the below statement today following a spate of sexist and homophobic attacks on Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in response to her steps to help keep guns out of the wrong hands:

The attacks on Attorney General Healey are more than offensive, sexist, and homophobic; they are dangerous. Believe me: This kind of rhetoric fuels hatred, violence, and puts lives at risk. It must stop. In the face of these attacks that have no place in our country, I stand with Maura Healey.

Since I left public office, I have watched with dismay as civility in our politics has eroded and these kinds of irresponsible attacks have become all too common. It is poisonous and a stain on our politics.

The return of civility is essential to the frank, respectful and vigorous public debate that has been our country’s great legacy – and that is our only hope for meeting our shared challenges.

Gabby Giffords Applauds the New Jersey State Legislature for Reaching a Bipartisan Compromise That Helps Make New Jersey Women and Families Safer From Gun Violence

August 1, 2016Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), today applauded the New Jersey State Senate’s bipartisan compromise agreement (S2483) that would help limit domestic abusers’ access to guns and protect domestic violence survivors.

The bill, which passed the State Senate unanimously, now goes to the New Jersey State Assembly.

“This agreement is a real victory for responsibility that will make New Jersey families safer, and it represents the kind of bipartisan approach to preventing gun tragedies that our communities need. I’m grateful to New Jersey’s legislators for doing the responsible thing and voting to make the Garden State a safer place to live,” said Congresswoman Giffords. I want to thank Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean and Senator Jennifer Beck for their leadership and for listening to New Jersey’s community leaders and domestic violence prevention advocates who have urged their elected officials in Trenton to help protect families from abusers with guns.”

In March 2015, Congresswoman Giffords joined New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera and leaders in New Jersey’s domestic violence prevention community at an event at the New Jersey State House to urge legislators to pass laws that help protect women and families from gun violence.

The agreement will strengthen New Jersey’s laws and help protect domestic violence survivors by:

  • Requiring abusers who are convicted of domestic violence to surrender their firearms and provide a receipt and affidavit to the court demonstrating that they have done so;
  • Updating the restraining order form to allow victims to list if the alleged abuser owns a firearm;
  • Empowering law enforcement to seize firearms from domestic abusers; and,
  • Enhancing penalties for certain very serious crimes of domestic violence.


Women in the United States Are Eleven Times More Likely to be Murdered with a Gun Than Women in Other Developed Countries. More than half of all murders of America’s women are committed with a gun. [Centers for Disease Control, 2012] More than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1980 and 2008 were killed with firearms. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011] In 2013, a gun was the most commonly used weapon in a murder of a woman by a man. [Violence Policy Center, 2015]

Guns and Domestic Abuse Are A Deadly Mix: Abused women in the United States are five times more likely to be killed by their abusers if that individual has access to a gun. [Centers for Disease Control, 2012]

Nearly Half of Murders by an Intimate Partner Are Committed by a Dating Partner – But the “Boyfriend Gap” in Federal Law Lets Abusive Dating Partners Access Guns: From 2009 to 2010, 48.6 percent of all intimate partner homicides were committed by a dating partner. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011] Current federal law prohibits individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses from accessing firearms, including individuals who are a current or former spouse, parent, parent of a child in common, current or former cohabitant, or a personal similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim. But federal law does not include perpetrators who abused current or former dating partners from accessing guns. With more women choosing to marry later in life and live in non-cohabitating dating relationships, this gap leaves a significant number of abusers free to access firearms. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

Stalking Is A Strong Predictor of Future Violence – But the “Stalker Gap” in Federal Law Lets Some Convicted Stalkers Access Guns: Stalking is a strong precursor to escalating violence. One study of female murder victims in ten cities found that 76 percent of women murdered and 85 percent who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner experienced stalking in the year preceding the murder. [Homicide Studies, 1999] Under current federal law, individuals convicted of felony stalking offenses are prohibited from accessing guns. But individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses are not prohibited from accessing guns. Closing the “stalker gap” in federal law would help ensure that all individuals convicted of stalking offenses are prohibited from accessing firearms. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

In the Face of Inaction in Congress, Blue, Purple and Red States Are Enacting Laws to Close These Loopholes and Limit Abusers’ and Stalkers’ Access to Guns. While each state has taken a distinct approach to strengthening laws that address gun violence against women, state leaders are addressing major gaps in federal law to help protect vulnerable women and families. At least 12 states have updated their laws to prohibit people convicted of violent misdemeanors against dating partners from possessing firearms. And 25 states prohibit gun possession by at least some people subject to protective orders for dating partners. In the last two years, leaders from both parties have enacted legislation addressing the often lethal mix of domestic violence and access to firearms in a number of states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Delaware.

Americans from Both Parties Support Legislation Limiting Abusers’ and Stalkers’ Access to Guns. According to research conducted in June 2015, 82 percent of Americans – including 82 percent of Republicans – say they would support legislation that helps keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. [Public Policy Polling]


Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly Statement on The Gun Tragedy in Fort Myers, Florida That Killed At Least Two and Injured At Least 14

July 25, 2016  – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions, released the following statement today following the gun tragedy in Fort Myers, Florida that killed two and left at least 14 injured.


While the details about what happened early this morning in Fort Myers and why are still unfolding, we are heartbroken to wake up to the news that a community has once again been shattered by gun violence and that once again, young lives have been cut short by gunfire.

“An America where a group of young people – some as young as 12 years old – are confronted by gun violence is not the America we strive for. We have to do better than this, and need to unite as Americans to do more to address the problem of gun violence – a problem that makes us stand out in the worst of ways.

“We are praying for the families of those lost, for strength for the injured, and for our first responders as they seek to bring those responsible for this senseless violence to justice. Our hearts are in Fort Myers this morning.”