Americans for Responsible Solutions

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Americans for Responsible Solutions
Founded January 8, 2013 (2013-01-08)
Founder Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly
Type 501(c)(4)
  • Criminal background checks
  • Limiting high capacity magazines
  • Limiting assault weapons
  • Stopping gun trafficking
  • Washington, D.C.
Origins Tucson and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings
Area served United States
Services Issue advocacy and political action committee
Revenue $11 million in first 10 months
Mission Enact measures to reduce gun violence and protect the rights of responsible gun owners

Americans for Responsible Solutions is a United States non-profit organization whose mission is "to encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership." The organization supports gun control.[1] It was formed by Gabrielle Giffords, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and her husband, Mark Kelly, a decorated U.S. Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut, in the weeks following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of December 14, 2012. Giffords' political career was cut short on January 8, 2011, when she and 18 others were shot at a meeting with constituents in a Tucson, Arizona, suburb. Six people were killed and Giffords was critically injured.

On announcing the launch of their organization on January 8, 2013, Giffords and Kelly said they sought to reduce gun violence by matching the gun lobby in its reach and resources. Their op-ed in USA Today also said, "As a Western woman and a Persian Gulf War combat veteran who have exercised our Second Amendment rights, we don't want to take away your guns any more than we want to give up the two guns we have locked in a safe at home."[2] In a network news interview, Kelly said he went through a background check to buy a gun at a store and that private firearms sales should also require checks.[3] Three days later, the Wall Street Journal said that Americans for Responsible Solutions and Mayors Against Illegal Guns were "emerging as key voices in the gun control effort."[4]

Gun control[edit]

In January 2013 - two years after the Tucson shooting and one month after the Sandy Hook shooting - Giffords was a witness at a congressional hearing on gun violence. In a halting voice that is a result of her shooting injuries, she called for Congress to pass tougher laws on guns, saying "too many children are dying." In his testimony, Kelly called for "careful and civil conversation" and said: "Our rights are paramount. But our responsibilities are serious. And as a nation, we are not taking responsibility for the gun rights our founding fathers have conferred upon us." After the hearing he sought out Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, to shake his hand.[5]

Giffords and Kelly support "keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people like criminals, terrorists, and the mentally ill." Specifically, Americans for Responsible Solutions supports:

  • Getting the names of everyone not allowed to buy a gun into the background check system
  • A mandatory background check for every gun purchase or transfer of possession, including between private citizens
  • Limiting the sale of magazines
  • Limiting the sale of assault weapons
  • Stopping gun trafficking
  • Preventing the carrying of firearms in certain locations.[1]

Federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to perform background checks on purchasers, but it does not require private citizens to run checks.[6][7] In March 2013, Kelly said that "any bill that does not include a universal background check is a mistake. It's the most common-sense thing we can do to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from having access to weapons."[8][9]

In April 2013, after a bi-partisan bill to expand background checks failed to pass the Senate, Americans for Responsible Solutions issued a statement from Giffords and Kelly saying that senators who voted against the bill put gun lobby leaders before their constituents.[10] The day after the vote, Kelly said the 2014 elections were "a target rich environment after yesterday."[11]

In October 2013, Kelly said Americans for Responsible Solutions wants to spend $19 million in the 2014 elections - the same amount the NRA spent in 2012. As of October 2013, donors had contributed over $11 million to the group.[12] On November 8, 2013, a sister organization of over 100 military members was announced. Veterans for Responsible Solutions will visit Congress and write op-eds.[13][14]


  1. ^ a b Torres, Kristina (2014-02-26). "Gabby Giffords’ national gun control group targets Georgia". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved February 27, 2014. "Americans for Responsible Solutions, a national gun control organization… ." 
  2. ^ Giffords, Gabrielle; Mark Kelly (January 8, 2013). "Giffords and Kelly: Fighting gun violence". USA Today. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Newcomb, Alyssa; Lana Zak (January 8, 2013). "Giffords, Kelly Say 'Enough' to Gun Violence on 2nd Anniversary of Tucson Shooting". ABC News. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ Nelson, Colleen McCain; Gary Fields (January 11, 2013). "Biden's Gun Push Draws NRA Ire". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Bash, Dana; Tom Cohen (January 30, 2013). "Wounded Giffords urges senators to act now against gun violence". CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ Cooper, Michael; Schmidt, Michael S.; Luo, Michael (April 10, 2013). "Loopholes in Gun Laws Allow Buyers to Skirt Checks". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Private Sales Policy Summary (Universal Background Checks)". Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. May 21, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2013. "Although the private sale loophole is frequently referred to as the 'gun show' loophole (because of the particular problems associated with gun shows), it applies to all private firearm sales, regardless of where they occur." 
  8. ^ Edwards-Levy, Ariel (April 3, 2013). "Mark Kelly: Background Checks Are Crucial, But NRA 'Right' On Mental Health Records". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ Kelly, March (March 31, 2013). Mark Kelly on whether call to action on gun control is fading. transcript with Chris Wallace. Fox News Sunday. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ Giffords, Gabby; Mark Kelly (April 17, 2013). "Statement of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly on Senate Vote on Background Checks" (Press release). Americans for Responsible Solutions. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ Saenz, Arlette (April 18, 2013). "Mark Kelly on Gun Vote: 'Gabby Is Angry Today'". ABC News. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Greve, Joan E. (October 12, 2013). "Gabby Giffords’ Gun Control Group Hopes to Go Head-to-Head With NRA in 2014". ABC News. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  13. ^ Hillyard, Vaughn (November 8, 2013). "Gun-control group establishes veteran organization". NBC News. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ Parks, MaryAlice (November 9, 2013). "Gabrielle Giffords’ Gun Control Group Expands To Include Veterans". ABC News. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]