A super PAC supporting Jesse Kelly, the Republican vying for Gabrielle Giffords' congressional seat, is using a photo of the candidate holding a gun in new ads.

The website for the Move America Forward Freedom PAC features a graphic showing Kelly in a suit alongside a photo of him holding a gun. (The super PAC backs former members of the military who are seeking office. Kelly is a former Marine.) According to NPR, the image was also used in a fundraising email.

jesse kelly gun ad


Giffords stepped down from Congress roughly a year after being shot in the head during a meeting with constituents at a Tucson grocery store in January 2011. Kelly has recently received criticism for his past arguments against Giffords, including a 2010 claim he made that she is "a hero of nothing."

Kelly has since changed his tone, with one supporter telling The Arizona Republic that the candidate is "far more mature now than he was two years ago." Kelly's campaign has recently promoted the Republican as a family man, touting photos of Kelly with his wife and sons and airing a television ad featuring Kelly's grandfather.

When asked about the gun ad, a spokesman for Kelly largely avoided the issue, telling NPR that Kelly's campaign is focused on "bringing jobs and prosperity back to America."

Below, a slideshow of photos from the one-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting:

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  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., right, and wife Cheryl, second from left, pose for a photograph with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, center, and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, at a memorial ceremony remembering the victims and survivors one year after a gunman shot Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    From left, Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her husband Mark Kelly, and University of Arizona Medical Center's Dr. Peter Rhee, dance to the music of Calexico, during a vigil at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. Giffords led a crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance in a rare public appearance one year after surviving a deadly shooting. (AP Photo/The Republic, David Wallace)

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords recites the "Pledge of Allegiance" alongside her husband Mark Kelly, right, Ron Barber, far right, and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, left, at the start of a vigil at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. The day marks the one year anniversary of the shootings at the Safeway in Tucson. (AP Photo/The Republic, David Wallace)

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    People hold lights aloft during a a memorial vigil remembering the victims and survivors of the shooting that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 12 others and killed six one year ago Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    Mark Kelly leans on the shoulder of his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a memorial vigil remembering the victims and survivors of the shooting that wounded Giffords, 12 others and killed six one year ago Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz.

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    Teresa Bier leaves a rose honoring Christina Taylor-Green in a vase for the six people killed in the shooting at an event for Giffords one year ago, during an interfaith remembrance service at St. Augustine Catherdral, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 in Tucson, Ariz.

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    Pat Maisch, right, who grabbed a gun magazine as the shooter prepared to reload, reacts after being introduced by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, during a memorial ceremony remembering the victims and survivors of the shootings in Tucson that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Giffords, one year ago Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    Daniel Hernandez, former intern for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, leaves one of six roses for the six people killed in the shooting at an event for Giffords one year ago, during an interfaith remembrance service at St. Augustine Catherdral, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 in Tucson, Ariz. Hernandez came to Giffords' aid after the shooting.

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    A memorial of flowers and six crosses stands across the street from the Safeway where one year before a shooting at an event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords left six dead and 13 injured, including Giffords, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson.

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    Matt McLear, 48, of Tucson, Ariz., looks at a memorial of flowers and crosses across the street from the Safeway where one year before a shooting at an event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords left six dead and 13 injured, including Giffords, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson.

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    Shooting victim Mary Reed, right, receives a hug during a service honoring the lives of the 2011 Tucson shooting victims at University of Arizona Centennial Hall in Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. One year ago, a gunman opened fire at an event for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, killing six and injuring 13, including the Congresswoman.

  • Arizona Shooting Memorial Ceremony

    U.S. Senator Mark Udall, right, speaks for shooting victim U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a service honoring the lives of the 2011 Tucson shooting victims at University of Arizona Centennial Hall in Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012. One year ago, a gunman opened fire at an event for Giffords, killing six and injuring 13, including the Congresswoman.

  • Arizona Shooting Anniversary

    Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly walk on the Davidson Canyon Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Trailhead Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 to pay tribute to Zimmerman, who was killed almost one year ago during the Tucson shooting. Zimmerman was the director of community outreach for U.S. Representative Giffords.

  • Arizona Shooting Anniversary

    In this photo provided by the office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords and husband Mark Kelly pose at the Davidson Canyon Gabe Zimmerman Memorial trailhead outside of Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. Kelly posted the photo earlier Saturday via his Twitter account. The trailhead is named in honor of Giffords' slain staff member Gabe Zimmerman.

  • Arizona Shooting Anniversary

    Iesha Seiku, center, founder of a Harlem anti-gun violence group, joins members of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and the National Action Network as they pause during a "Too Many Victims" march and vigil against gun violence on the first anniversary of the Arizona shootings that killed six and injured 12, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • Gabrielle Giffords

    The signals are strong. One year after being shot in the head, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is on a mission to return to the job she so clearly loved. Her husband and people near the three-term congresswoman say she is highly motivated to recover from her injuries and get back to work in Washington, potentially using her inspirational story as a way to mend political differences in the nation's capital. She faces a May deadline to get on the November ballot, meaning she has a few months to decide her next step. (AP Photo/southwestphotobank.com, P.K. Weis)

  • Jared Loughner

    This Jan. 8, 2011 file photo provided by the Pima County Sheriff's Office shows Jared Loughner. Loughner, The mentally ill man charged in the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others isn't expected to go to trial in 2012 as he continues to be forcibly medicated in a bid to make him psychologically fit to stand trial.

  • John Green, Roxanne Green

    John and Roxanna Green finish a floral portrait of their daughter Taylor, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, at the historic Castle Green in Pasadena, Calif. Taylor was Killed during the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabriel Giffords and Roxanne will carry the floral portrait on the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade on, Monday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

  • Gabrielle Giffords

    U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., waves to airmen while serving a Thanksgiving meal at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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