CONTACT:  Jason Phelps, (Giffords);
Lauren Hitt, (Bryce)

March 21, 2018 – Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, announced its endorsement of Randy Bryce, candidate for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district and challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan. Bryce is one of 13 candidates Giffords endorsed today as part of its #VoteCourage campaign to elect gun safety champions.

Randy Bryce is a U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and ironworker who serves as a political coordinator for Ironworkers Local 8. Bryce recently published an open letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, criticizing him for caving to the gun lobby’s agenda and for evading conversations about gun safety measures, even in the wake of the Parkland shooting in February. A gun owner himself, Bryce supports stronger gun laws – like universal background checks – that will save lives.

“In the wake of three of the worst mass shootings in US history, Paul Ryan has demonstrated time after time that he lacks the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and take meaningful steps to make our communities safer. It is completely inexcusable. Thankfully, Randy Bryce is no stranger to courage. He’s served in the Army, fought cancer, and stepped up to advocate for gun safety laws that will prevent more shootings. As Paul Ryan continues to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from the gun lobby, we will be fighting to get Randy – a gun safety champion – elected to replace him,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords.

“As a veteran, a gun owner, and the father of an 11-year-old in public schools, I can personal testify to the fact that common sense gun reform is just that: common sense. It doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights – in fact, it does just the opposite. Our students have the right to go to school without fear that they will be gunned down in their classrooms. It doesn’t make sense to sell an assault rifle to a teenager with virtually no background check, if we require members of the military to spend hundreds of hours learning how to use them. People who are classified as too serious a threat to our national security to be permitted on an airplane, should not be able to legally get a gun,” said Randy Bryce.

Last month, Giffords launched the #VoteCourage campaign aimed at electing gun safety advocates to Congress and defeating politicians who have historically worked against gun reform, or done nothing at all to prevent gun violence. The political program is targeting incumbents in mostly suburban districts and uses a mixture of TV and digital advertising, on-the-ground organizing, and a voter registration push to create momentum for meaningful progress on gun safety.

The mass shooting at Parkland, Florida crystallized the country’s frustration with the lack of action to pass gun safety laws. Currently, the country is averaging nearly 34,000 deaths from guns every year, and recent polling shows that support for stronger gun laws is at an all-time high.

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