POLITICS
09/03/2014 03:58 pm ET

Gabby Giffords' Gun Control Group Targets GOP Candidate For Her Former Congressional Seat

Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, a gun-control group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, released new television ads on Wednesday that target Martha McSally, the GOP candidate for her former congressional seat.

Both ads, which a release says are the PAC's first ones of the cycle, criticize McSally for allegedly supporting a "gun-show loophole."

The ads specifically refer to an ABC News article that includes a statement from a McSally campaign official saying McSally believes in "enforcing background check laws already on the books, not expanding those laws that will do little to prevent violence and infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens."

The "gun-show loophole" refers to individuals being allowed to purchase firearms at gun shows in some states without a background check. There is also concern about individuals doing so online and through private sellers.

McSally, who according to her campaign website is "the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat," is challenging Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), a former district director for Giffords.

Giffords was shot in the head in January 2011 while meeting with constituents in Tucson, Arizona, and suffered brain damage as a result.

Barber and 17 others were also victims of the shooting, which killed six individuals.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) failed to get a Senate bill passed in April 2013 that would have required background checks for all individuals seeking to purchase firearms at gun shows and online.

A July HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that 77 percent of surveyed voters support "expanding federal background checks to include private, unlicensed sellers online and at gun shows."

McSally campaign spokesman Patrick Ptak responded to the ads in a statement, saying, "While we may have legitimate differences of opinion about how to best reduce violence and keep Arizonans safe, we all can agree that we need to do more to prevent tragedies in our communities."

Watch the other ad released by Giffords' group below:

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