Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Veteran and Senate Candidate MJ Hegar Rally for Universal Background Checks

MJ Hegar and Gabrielle Giffords
MJ Hegar and Gabrielle Giffords



Texas stop of the ‘Road to Universal Background Checks Tour’ featured gun safety candidate MJ Hegar as key member of the national movement to flip the Senate


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention group Giffords, and Veteran and Senate candidate MJ Hegar joined Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler and Pastor Michael Grady in a virtual rally to elect a gun safety Senate. As part of the larger Road to Universal Background Checks Tour, the group spoke with Texas voters about the importance of electing a Senate majority ready to take action on universal background checks.


“As a decorated air force veteran and as a candidate, MJ Hegar has the courage and grit to take on the tough fights.” Ambler said. “She understands the trauma that gun violence can bring to communities, and she will never stop working to make sure that no more families feel the pain of gun violence. Her opponent is an NRA favorite who prioritizes their extremist agenda over the needs of his constituents, even after the shootings in Sutherland Springs and El Paso. We’re proud to stand with MJ Hegar in the fight to stop the gun lobby and protect our communities.”


Speaking to thousands of viewers in Texas and nationwide, the panel stressed the importance of protecting the gun safety majority in the House and electing a gun safety majority to the Senate so that universal background checks can finally become law.


“I am honored to stand alongside Gabby in the fight to end the gun violence epidemic in our country. As a mom, gun violence survivor, and responsible gun owner I am committed to ensuring we enact common-sense gun safety legislation, like universal background checks and closing the boyfriend loophole. These are things that the vast majority of Texans want, and it’s time we kicked the gun lobby’s waterboy John Cornyn out of the Senate so we can get the action needed.”


MJ Hegar served her country through three tours in Afghanistan as a combat search and rescue and medevac pilot and became one of few women to win the Distinguished Cross for Valor and the Purple Heart. Her experiences on the battlefield and in the home as a survivor of childhood domestic gun violence has taught her the importance of addressing the trauma that guns can inflict. She has advocated for universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, and closing the boyfriend loophole throughout her campaign.


“We need leadership and action so that no family ever has to go through the pain of learning that their child has been shot,” said Pastor Michael Grady of Prince of Peace Christian Fellowship. “I have seen the devastation and trauma that guns bring to our families and communities both from my time, while serving military families, and now also as father to Michelle, my daughter who was seriously wounded in the El Paso shooting. This state and this country need change, and I am proud to stand with MJ in her fight to protect families from the horrors of gun violence.”


Giffords also released new Public Policy Polling surveying Texas voters in conjunction with the announcement. According to the poll, nearly 8 in 10 Texas voters support universal background checks. Over 60% of voters said that a candidate’s support for universal background checks laws made it more likely that they would vote for that candidate. Only 8% of those polled said they would more likely vote for the candidate who opposed background checks.


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