MIAMI – In one of her first appearances in Miami since launching her Senate bid, United States Representative Val Demings received endorsement from Giffords PAC, the political wing of the organization for purpose. Anti-gun violence nonprofit founded by former US Representative Gabby Giffords from Arizona.
At a Bayfront Park press conference on Monday morning, Demings bragged about his record, including voting in favor of two pieces of legislation passed this year that would improve background checks for gun buyers, and his experience as a gun buyer. as a former Orlando cop as proof that she would be pushing for gun legislation as a senator.
The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 that was passed by the US House of Representatives has not made it through the Senate, and important gun reform talks have since collapsed between Republicans and Democrats.
Demings – who was joined by former Reps Giffords and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and Stacey Wesch, the mother of a survivor of the Parkland School shooting – also directly sued his GOP rival, US Senator Marco Rubio , for receiving political contributions from the National Rifle Association.
âI know there are some, like the person I’m running against, who want to make it a political issue. As a law enforcement officer, I did not make my decisions about the security of my community based on politics. I did what I could, I used my influence as a law enforcement officer and police chief to keep people safe, âDemings said. âMy opponent had many opportunities but chose to put the interests of the NRA, the gun lobby, above the interests of Floridians. It’s just a fact.
In a statement, Elizabeth Gregory, communications director for Rubio’s re-election campaign, called the bills Demings voted for “extreme” and said they would violate the rights of gun owners .
“It’s no surprise that Val Demings is eager to tout his support for Floridians’ Second Amendment rights trampling,” said Gregory. “Demings voted for every extreme gun control bill Nancy Pelosi brought to the House, and she would do the same in the Senate.”
In Bayfront Park, the Gun Violence Advocacy Group also unveiled an installation of Thousands of Vases with White Flowers, a temporary memorial to the estimated 3,000 victims of gun violence in Florida last year.
Mucarsel-Powell, senior advisor to the nonprofit, said the organization is supporting Demings because Florida needs more lawyers in government who support gun reform.
Meanwhile, Giffords, who sustained a head injury in a mass shooting at an event with voters in Tucson, Ariz. In 2011, said it was important for more people to become defenders of armed violence.
âMy recovery is a daily struggle, but the struggle makes me stronger. Words used to come easily. Today I struggle with speaking, but I haven’t lost my voice. America needs all of us to speak up, even if you have to struggle to find the words, âsaid Giffords.