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Giffords brings gun control tour to Raleigh

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Jonathan Rodriguez photo Jonathan Rodriguez photo
Kelly and Giffords meet with supporters Kelly and Giffords meet with supporters
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A gun rights group staged a protest Sunday at The Pit restaurant, where former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, met to support tighter gun control laws.

Giffords and Kelly's "Rights and Responsibilities" tour is a week-long swing through seven states. The goal is to call for the immediate passage of what they call "common-sense" gun safety laws.

It's been two and a half years since Giffords was injured in a shooting that killed six people and wounded 12 others.

The couple is appealing to congress to pass new legislation on expanded background checks for gun buyers.

Giffords said, "Stopping gun violence takes courage. The courage to do great, the courage of new ideas." It's courage she's shown the world as she continues on her road to recovery.

The tour is hosted by "Americans for Responsible Solutions" which says 93 percent of North Carolina voters support background checks and 63 percent of voters in the state support enforcing current gun laws.

But the gathering was "by invitation only" which led members of Grass Roots North Carolina to ask why they were not invited.

"We'd like to know why Gabby Giffords is hiding from the very gun owners she claims to represent," said Sean Sorrentino, while protesting outside.

"We need to do a better job keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill, and the way we do that is expand background checks to gun shows private sales and Internet sales," said Kelly.

"They wish to put people on a terrorist watch list without any due process of law and prevent them from buying a firearm which is completely un-American as far as we can tell," countered Sorrentino.

Last month, a rally about gun violence brought out both sides in the Triangle.

"I'm standing up for my second amendment rights," one person said.

"The second amendment is non-negotiable," another man said.

A woman said, "They're talking about guns save lives yes but they also kill people too that's what we're trying to stop the ones in the wrong hands"

One man said, "The fact is gun control actually increases violence and the cities with gun control experience the highest level of violent crime,"

Earlier, Giffords and Kelly planned a private stop at a local shooting range. The location was being kept secret and gun rights advocates complained the two were trying to hide.

The Raleigh stop is the final location on the couple's tour.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez is an investigative reporter and member of the WNCN Investigates team. His storytelling specialty is connecting the dots to get to the truth, with a goal of delivering results for our community. If you have something you’d like WNCN to investigate, contact Jonathan.

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