Report: Giffords meets with George H.W. Bush on gun control tour

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband Mark Kelly met with former President George H.W. Bush on Saturday during her tour to push for new gun controls, according to ABC News.

Giffords spokeswoman Pia Carusone told ABC they had lunch at Bush’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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Giffords and Kelly are in the midst of a seven-state bus tour to push lawmakers to enact tougher background checks on firearm purchases. The tour is targeting states home to senators who voted against a bipartisan background check bill in April She also is meeting with families of victims of the mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Giffords last met with former President Bush and his wife Barbara Bush in Houston where she was recovering from the serious injuries she suffered after she was shot in the head during a constituent event in Tucson, Ariz. two years ago. Those injuries forced her to step down from Congress.

Giffords has become a vocal advocate for tougher gun control laws, forming the PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, which she hopes will be a counterweight to the National Rifle Association.

In an op-ed last week announcing the start of her bus tour, Giffords said she hoped to convince firearm owners to do more to combat gun violence. 

“Some might consider me an unlikely advocate for gun rights because I sustained terrible injuries in a violent shooting. But I'm a patriot, and I believe the right to bear arms is a definitive part of our American heritage,” Giffords wrote. “For centuries, that right has come with the responsibility to use our guns safely and ensure that our families, our communities and our children are protected.”

During her first event in Nevada, Giffords also fired a gun at a shooting range in Las Vegas. It was the first time the gun owner had fired a handgun since her shooting.

Bush, also a gun owner, has had a contentious history with the NRA. He resigned from the NRA after the group harshly criticized agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 1995.