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Giffords launches ad to pressure Senate to pass universal background checks bill

Giffords launches ad to pressure Senate to pass universal background checks bill
© Bonnie Cash

Gun violence prevention advocacy group Giffords launched a $350,000 ad campaign on Wednesday calling on Senate Republicans to vote for legislation to enhance background checks on firearm sales.

The campaign will run at least through April 6 in the Washington, D.C., market on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

Giffords was formed by gun violence survivor and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). The House passed legislation last week to strengthen background backs with eight GOP lawmakers voting for the bill.

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The bill, which would need 60 votes to make it through the Senate, would require unlicensed or private sellers to conduct a check before they transfer a firearm. 

The ad touts the public and bipartisan support for universal background checks.

“That’s why we’ve marched, organized, and won. Almost nothing has support from both parties but universal background checks does,” the ad says. “So will the Senate have the courage to act or does the corporate gun lobby still scare them?” 

The bill would need 10 Republicans to cross the aisle to overcome a legislative filibuster. The House also passed legislation to extend the time federal investigators have to perform background checks from three days to 10 days, which received support from two House Republicans.

Giffords argues that the opposition to enhancing background checks for gun sales has never been weaker.

“Our new campaign is running on airwaves to remind senators what we all know — that not only is public opposition to this legislation basically nonexistent, but the special interest opposition has never been weaker. We can help keep American kids and communities safe if senators fulfill their responsibility and pass popular, lifesaving legislation that Americans want and need,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of Giffords.