"Gun violence is an issue for women," former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords said as she met with attendees of a forum on gun violence in Minneapolis Monday, WCCO reports.
Giffords, who has been a vocal advocate for stronger gun control laws since she was shot and nearly died four years ago, stopped in Minneapolis as part of her nine-state "Protect All Women Tour."
She met with dozens of community advocates and law enforcement officials at the Harriet Tubman Center, including Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, according to KSTP.
Gifford's tour focuses on her campaign for stronger state and federal laws that protect women and families from gun violence, while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“Stalkers with guns, abusers with guns, criminals with guns make gun violence a women’s issue for mothers, for families, for me and you," Giffords told the group, according to WCCO.
One attendee, Joan Peterson, told Giffords her sister was killed in a shooting in 1992.
"Most gun owners really believe in reasonable gun laws. Polling after polling shows us that," she said, according to KSTP. "I think that we are on our way to actually being able to pass some laws that will protect women."
Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, founded a group called Americans for Responsible Solutions.
Gun rights advocates criticized Giffords' appearance in Minneapolis, since it was not publicized ahead of time or open to the public.
"They do this because Minnesotans overwhelmingly oppose gun control," said Andrew Rothman, President of Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, according to KSTP. "When they announce in advance, the gun rights supporters outnumber the gun controllers twenty to one."
After the meeting, Giffords accompanied Harteau on a ride-along and visited a shelter for women, WCCO reports.
Politicians visit this week
Giffords' visit to Minneapolis did not include campaigning on behalf of any candidates, but several other high-profile politicians will be in Minnesota this week, primarily Democrats, to boost the chances of various candidates before the Nov. 4 election. Here's a rundown:
– Tuesday, 2 p.m. First lady Michelle Obama rally with Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken. Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis. Free and open to the public. Info here.
– Thursday, 11:45 a.m. Vice President Joe Biden rally with 8th District U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan. Hibbing Community College on the Iron Range. Info here.
– Thursday, 3 p.m. Former Secretary Hillary Clinton rally with Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken. Macalester College Leonard Center Field House in St. Paul. Info here.