Gun safety advocates applauded the Democratic vice presidential pick of Sen. Kamala Harris, while gun rights groups said her plans would “dismantle Second Amendment rights.” The issue of gun control is expected to be an issue in the presidential election, a topic that can galvanize base voters in both major political parties and prompt candidates to seek support from independent voters. Gun control also hits home in certain communities that have experienced tragedy, such as Las Vegas, the site of the worst mass shooting in United States history. “Senator Kamala Harris has never held back from taking on the gun lobby and fighting for policies that save lives,” said former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., a gun violence survivor and advocate for greater restrictions. Giffords is scheduled to speak before Harris accepts the vice presidential nomination during a virtual Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. Harris is set to speak on the same night. Harris backs legislation that would make it harder to obtain assault-style weapons such as the rifles used in Las Vegas and other recent mass shootings that have resulted in multiple deaths. Giffords said Harris is a “fierce, compassionate, and strong leader who is willing to fight for progress.” The pick of Harris also fueled criticism from conservatives that Harris, a liberal lawmaker from California, signaled danger for gun rights activists. In a tweet, the National Rifle Association said Harris favored a buyback of AR-15s to take them off the street.
“Mandatory buybacks are a deceptive way of saying confiscation,” the NRA tweeted. “Joe and Kamala will dismantle the 2nd Amendment.” [full article]