Giffords's group eyes Ryan, other high-profile Republicans ahead of midterms

Giffords's group eyes Ryan, other high-profile Republicans ahead of midterms
© Greg Nash

Giffords, the political organization run by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), is going after top Republicans in Congress ahead of the 2018 midterm elections over their stances on gun control. 

The group, which is made up of a lobbying arm, a PAC and a law center, has an “incumbent-defeat priority list” that includes House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHouse Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea Duncan Hunter pleads guilty after changing plea Trump campaign steps up attacks on Biden MORE (R-Wis.), Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanBottom Line Koch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform MORE (R-Colo.), Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockLive coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Gun debate raises stakes in battle for Virginia legislature Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats MORE (R-Va.) and Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.) according to a report by The Associated Press

Giffords, who was critically injured in a mass shooting in 2011, has become a leading advocate for tighter firearms restrictions. She and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, have worked together on a number of initiatives aimed at advocating for new gun control laws through the Giffords group. 

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Following the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., earlier this month, the group has ratcheted up its efforts to pass gun control laws, building on the grass-roots movement led by the teenage survivors of the attack.

A spokesman for Giffords told The Associated Press that it raised $5 million in the last five days alone, and plans to spend $10 million on opposing Republicans in 2018. Former Rep. Giffords herself is also planning visits and rallies in the districts of Coffman, Comstock, Ryan and Heller. The Giffords effort is reportedly also planning to use funds for TV and online ad campaigns. 

High school students across the country have become vocal advocates for congressional action to restrict firearms since the attack. The 19-year-old alleged gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has confessed to killing 17 students and faculty with a semi-automatic weapon.