Gabrielle Giffords, husband rally for background checks in Vegas - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Gabrielle Giffords, husband rally for background checks in Vegas

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Former Arizon Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center) and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, talk about preventing gun violence at a meeting in Las Vegas on July 1, 2013. (FOX5/Jason Valle) Former Arizon Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center) and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, talk about preventing gun violence at a meeting in Las Vegas on July 1, 2013. (FOX5/Jason Valle)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly kicked off a seven-state tour in Nevada on Monday.

The two are drumming up support for what they call common sense gun safety laws.

Giffords and Kelly, a former astronaut and Navy captain, are on their Rights and Responsibility Tour, designed to rally supporters and remind elected officials about firearms background checks.

Giffords was shot in the head in January 2011 during a mass shooting at a speaking event outside of a grocery store near Tucson, AZ.

"We founded an organization called Americans for Responsible Solutions to reach out to gun owners, NRA members, citizens that really believe there are some common sense things we can do to make our schools, our churches, our grocery stores safer places," Kelly said.

Giffords and Kelly said they specifically are hoping to change Sen. Dean Heller's stance on background checks. Heller in April voted against expanding background checks for all gun purchases.

Despite the push for background checks, Kelly said he and Giffords are among the staunchest supporters of the Second Amendment.

"I don't think there are many people out there that are stronger supporters of the Second Amendment than Gabby and I. Whether you want to own a gun for self-defense, recreation or hunting, that is a right that every American deserves, with a couple of exceptions. Those exceptions are criminals and the dangerously mentally ill," he said.

"Through our research we have found that a lot of criminals buy guns at gun shows and over the internet, and that needs to change," Kelly continued.

Giffords characterized the push as a bipartisan effort.

"Stopping gun violence takes courage. The courage to do what's right, the courage of new ideas. I saw great courage when my life was on the line. Now is the time to come together, to be responsible. Democrats and Republicans, everyone, we must do something, be bold, courageous. The nation is counting on us," said Giffords.

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