Giffords has been an outspoken proponent of tougher gun laws since she nearly died in an assassination attempt four years ago.
At the coalition launch in Portland, she walked with a slight limp. She took the time to shake hands with everyone in the room, and then spoke briefly from prepared remarks.
“Now is the time to come together. Be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone,” Giffords said.
The coalition’s advisers include retired Portland police chief Mike Reese and former mayor Tom Potter, who is also a former Portland police chief.Many of the speakers noted that, like Giffords, they have owned guns and said that the group’s platform of proposed changes is moderate. The coalition reached out to several prominent Oregon Republicans, but they declined to join, according to a staffer.
The new alliance will advocate for gun control measures such as tighter gun storage requirements and better processes for families and law enforcement to stop people who suffering from a mental health crisis from accessing guns.
Yuille’s mother, hospice nurse Cindy Yuille, was killed in the Clackamas Town Center attacks.
Jenna Yuille became a gun-control advocate and was among those who convinced the Oregon Legislature to pass universal background check legislation last session. Ultimately, Yuille says, she plans to push for legislation requiring gun owners to store their guns in a secure place and to carry some form of liability insurance.
“When my mom was killed, I felt like that was something that shouldn’t have happened,” she said. “The gun that was used in that shooting was taken from a friend, who just had guns lying around, but he’s not liable.”