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The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of people to keep and bear arms.
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Giffords’ involvement adds a new face to gun control efforts. She was shot in the head and nearly killed by a gunman in 2011 while meeting constituents outside an Arizona supermarket. She later left Congress to focus on her recovery.
“Gabby’s experience puts her in a very unique position,” former Giffords aide C.J. Karamargin said. “Her congressional career was built on the very premise of working with people who represented different points of view, and finding a way to bring them together to solve a problem.”
Mostyn, the treasurer, said he became involved in Giffords’ effort after receiving a phone call from her husband in the days after the Newtown school massacre.
“Mark called me and said, ‘I think it’s time we do something,’” Mostyn said. “I said, ‘We’ve stood by long enough.’ Having a 5-year-old little girl and looking at those pictures, I will tell you was a rather sobering moment for me.”
Mostyn said he and his wife donated $1 million to the “Super PAC,” a vehicle that allows donors to spend unlimited amounts to support or oppose political candidates. Giffords’ drive received $400,000 in smaller donations on its first day, he said.
The group hopes to raise “enough money to compete on an even-keel basis with the NRA on the cycle, which would be $16 to $20 million,” Mostyn said. It wants the money in time for party primaries next year, he said.
Mostyn declined to identify the donors, whom he said he had worked with previously on Priorities USA, the re-election Super PAC for President Barack Obama, and the House Majority PAC, for the House of the Representatives.
Mostyn, who made a fortune from personal injury lawsuits, said he and his wife have a gun range on their ranch, while Giffords and Kelly own firearms - cultural cues they hope will ward off any fears they want to ban all firearms or take other extreme measures.
Possible laws under debate would expand background checks, which are required only for retail gun sales; ban certain semi-automatic rifles; and restrict high-capacity ammunition magazines.