Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is coming to Virginia to support candidates who back stricter gun laws, an issue that gained momentum in the state after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach this spring.
Giffords founded a gun safety advocacy group after she survived an assassination attempt in 2011. The Arizona Democrat will appear in Northern Virginia on Friday and in Virginia Beach on Saturday together with some of the 40 Democrats the group is endorsing, the Washington Post reports.
Someone is killed with a gun every nine hours in Virginia, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. That’s 958 deaths per year.
Republicans have blocked almost every gun safety bill over the past two decades and notably refused to consider any gun law reforms after the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach, adjourning a July special session on gun laws in just 90 minutes.
Giffords’ visit will help keep gun reform on the top of voters’ minds and front and center in the upcoming elections in a state where 60% of voters support stricter gun laws.