Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords attended a New York gun show on Sunday to draw attention towards voluntary background checks for buyers.
The 43-year-old politician was shot in the head while giving a speech in Tuscon, Arizona two years ago. On Sunday, she traveled with astronaut husband Mark Kelly to the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair.
Under a current “gun show loophole,” buyers can acquire guns without a background check. However, most gun show operators in the state have agreed to require instant criminal background checks before sales can now be finalized.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman helped setup the new system, which requires gun show buyers to be cleared by way of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
While Giffords was the victim of a gunshot wound to the head, she has always been a major supporter of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects a citizens right to bear arms.
While Gabrielle and Mark support the second amendment, they also believe that stricter measures should be placed on gun purchases.
Speaking to Reuters, Kelly said of the gun shows new requirements, “It’s great to be able to see people sell the firearms they have collected.” He adds, “It’s great for Gabby and I to see a system that works.”
Giffords tells the publication that “stopping gun violence takes courage. The courage to do what’s right. The courage of new ideas.”
Under the voluntary plan, all firearms are tagged at the entrances to gun shows. Gun show operators are then required to provide computer stations for sellers to perform nationwide background checks on buyers.
The new voluntary program has already been adopted by 35 gun show operators in New York State.
While Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly received a warm reception from most attendees, several people did boo and a small number of protestors rallied outside of the event. Protestors held up signs that condemned the program for extending gun-control laws in the state.
Do you agree with Giffords’ stance on responsible gun control by way of instant criminal background checks?