Americans for Responsible Solutions, the political action committee aimed at curbing gun violence–founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly–is launching a new initiative, Veterans for Responsible Solutions.
The sister organization has enlisted efforts from over 100 retired military veterans who are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and skilled with the use of firearms.
Capt. Mark Kelly, a retired combat veteran, said on a Friday conference call that their organizations are not seeking to undermine or repeal the Second Amendment.
A retired Army major general, Vance Coleman, said on the call that while he is a gun owner himself, not everyone should have access to firearms, especially the mentally ill and those with a criminal background.
“They should not own guns and the Congress needs to do something about that,” Coleman said.
Americans for Responsible Solutions advocates “common-sense” reforms to prevent gun violence–for example, universal background checks.
“The perspective of our nation’s service members and veterans is critical to the debate on how we reduce gun violence,” Kelly said on Friday. “Veterans are considered some of our nation’s foremost experts on the responsible use of firearms.”
Kelly said that veterans will pursue meetings with members of Congress and write op-eds to advocate the cause.
A Senate bill introducing universal background checks was blocked by a filibuster in April. The National Rifle Association argued that background checks would restrict the rights of lawful gun owners and ultimately the Second Amendment.
This past October, the gun lobby successfully recalled two Colorado state senators who were strong supporters of gun control efforts. Angela Giron and John Morse became the first lawmakers in Colorado history to be recalled.