As he appeals to Arizona voters for support, Democrat Senator Mark Kelly avoids any mention of his staunch gun-control advocacy.
Kelly and Gabby Giffords co-founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control group that was founded less than a month following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Giffords was born from that gun control group. It grades states on how stringent their gun control is and advocates for additional restrictions at both the state and federal levels.
Breitbart News reported Kelly avoiding highlighting his involvement in the gun lobby during his 2020 campaign against Martha McSally (R). Kelly was able to take advantage of the fact that McSally had largely left Kelly’s gun-control commitment off the table.
Now, fast forward to 2022. Kelly is running for a full six year term in the Senate. His approach so far has been very similar to 2020. Campaign ads emphasize his opposition to Supreme Court decisions that protect life but not gun control.
Kelly is now running against pro-Second Amendment Blake Masters, and a commercial that aired again and again in Phoenix contrasts Masters’ support for SCOTUS’s pro-life decision to Kelly’s use classic leftist catchphrases about women’s healthcare.
Kelly’s ad does not mention that he and his wife started a gun control group January 2013, and have spent almost a decade advocating for universal background checks.
He also doesn’t talk about the time that he visited Diamondback Police Supply in Tucson, Arizona to buy a gun. This was to emphasize his belief that gun laws are too lax.
Breitbart News referred to Kelly’s February 2013 attempt at buying the firearm in Tucson. They also noted that Kelly’s theatrics were aligned with his post-Sandy Hook push to have universal background checks. Breitbart noted that Kelly wasn’t allowed to purchase the gun as he didn’t have the required ID for the background check system in place since 1998.
Kelly returned with the correct ID, passed a background check and purchased a semiautomatic pistol two weeks later. Kelly released a hidden camera video showing how simple it was to buy the gun, but he did not mention the fact that his first attempt at purchasing the gun was rejected.
Kelly passed the background check and purchased a semiautomatic weapon. However, Diamondback Police Supply owner Douglas MacKinlay stopped the sale because Kelly made so much of it. This was due to concerns about Question 1 on ATF Background Check Form 4473. This question requires a buyer to confirm that he is the buyer or transferee and is buying the gun or having it transferred to him.
Kelly doesn’t mention his gun control efforts in the current campaign ads.