Kelly and Giffords to lobby in North Carolina for gun control


No location was given for the event and an RSVP form on the website was not updated to reflect the Raleigh stop.

Giffords and Kelly founded the Americans for Responsible Solutions group after Giffords was wounded in an assassination attempt on Jan. 8, 2011. Kelly, a former combat pilot and astronaut, flew four space shuttle missions.

This week, they've been on a seven-state "Rights and Responsibilities Tour" to lobby for more gun-control legislation.

At a stop in Alaska earlier this week, the Kelly said background checks on people who want to buy firearms at gun shows wouldn't prevent all of the nearly three dozen murders a day in America or the 10 mass shootings a year, but some of those tragedies would be stopped.

"We'll prevent some of them if we take some reasonable steps that most Americans agree on," Kelly said.

Their proposed legislation also would require criminal background checks for Internet sales.

Kelly said polling by his group indicates a majority of Americans would like to see background checks extended to the 40 percent of gun sales for which background checks are not required.

The FBI website says the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, launched on Nov. 30, 1998, has made more than 100 million checks, leading to 700,000 denials.

Kelly wondered how many people who were denied weapons at stores then went to a show or the internet to buy a gun.

"I imagine, probably some of them," Kelly said. "We could have stopped that. How many crimes were committed? How many lives were lost?"

Jared Loughner, the mentally ill man who shot Giffords, passed a background check to buy his gun, Kelly said.

"There was enough information there about his mental illness," Kelly said. "That should have been in the system. The problem is, even if it was, he probably would have figured out that he could go to a gun show or over the internet."

Giffords and Kelly kicked off the tour in the Las Vegas area on Monday with a visit to the Clark County Shooting Complex. It was the first time Giffords had fired a gun publicly since she was wounded.

Paralyzed in the right arm from the attack, she held the gun with just her left hand as she took aim at a target.

The stop was an effort to pressure Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, to support expanded background checks on gun sales, according to Giffords and Kelly.

Heller has said he doesn't support the measure because of fears it would lead to a national gun registry.

AP writers Dan Joling and Michelle Rindels contributed to this story.

See It On TV | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Send us photos
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Copyright © 2023 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.