Gun-Control Groups Endorse Republicans

Gun-Control Groups Endorse Republicans
From left, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk have gained the backing of Gabrielle Giffords's gun safety PAC in their November races. photo from newsweek.com .web photo

Proving that this is an extraordinarily bizarre election season, a leading gun control political action committee co-founded by gun control advocate and former U.S. representative from Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords, has endorsed two Republican senators in their races for re-election, according to this story from newsweek.com.

Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) has backed Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). The story says the two are part of a group of four Republican senators who voted for a bill tightening background checks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. The measure failed.

“The endorsements come in a vital election year, with Democrats seen as having a chance to take control of the House and Senate, in addition to possibly retaining the White House. In anop-ed published on CNN’s website Monday, Giffords and her husband, astronaut and Navy Captain Mark Kelly—who have acknowledged they are gun owners—said they recognize that the decision to back the GOP senators was challenging, given that their opponents are also championing gun violence prevention. “

Another gun-control group has endorsed Toomey, billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC, who praises Toomey for crossing party lines in a recent ad.

Toomey is up against Democrat Katie McGinty, who has the support of CeaseFire Pennsylvania, another anti-gun group, while earning high marks from the NRA and Gun Owners of America, the story says.

The story says the ARS endorsement may help Kirk in Illinois, where Chicago is seeing a record year for gun violence, despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Unlike Toomey, Kirk has received an “F” rating from the NRA.

Bloomberg's main gun-control arm, Everytown for Gun Safety, has only endorsed one November candidate, Hillary Clinton, the story says.