Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced her endorsement for Aurora mayoral candidate Omar Montgomery at a press conference in Aurora this weekend.
Giffords is a leading gun control advocate through her organization Giffords, which she formed in 2013 after the Sandy Hook shooting.
Giffords herself became a victim of gun violence in 2011 when she was shot while meeting with constituents in Tucson, along with 19 others. Her support for Montgomery is due to his dedication to fighting for safer gun laws.
“Omar Montgomery knows the pain that this crisis brings to families and communities, and he is ready to take action to make Aurora a safer place from gun violence,” said Giffords.
Giffords also denounced Montgomery’s opponent, former Republican Congressman Mike Coffman.
Coffman is tightly aligned with the NRA, and has supported multiple gun-lobby backed bills. The NRA granted him an “A” rating, and he received over $113,000 in campaign funding from gun-lobbyists during the 2018 midterm race, according to the Giffords website.
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) defeated Coffman in the 2018 midterm elections for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.
Between 2001 and 2016, the rate of gun violence per 100,000 people in Colorado more than doubled. The majority of that violence took place in Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs.
Montgomery experienced his own share of gun violence at a party in Los Angeles that he attended, where a gang shooting killed two people and injured four.
“Let’s make it easier for people to turn in their guns and not be judged for going through a mental health crisis,” said Montgomery in a video from Saturday. “Let’s make sure we get the illegal guns off the street.”