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Forum staff reports, Published June 26 2013

Gabby Giffords to push gun control in ND visit

FARGO – Former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, will visit North Dakota next week as part of a nationwide tour to push for stricter gun control.

Giffords was shot in the head in Tucson, Ariz., in Jan. 2011 at a public meet and greet. According to a news release, Giffords and Kelly will arrive in North Dakota on July 3, but where they will visit hasn’t been announced. A schedule of public appearances will be released in the next week.

Several stops of the seven-state tour are in states in which a senator seen as a swing vote, such as Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., voted against a proposal earlier this year to expand federal background checks for gun gales. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., also voted against the proposal.

According to a poll commission by the gun violence prevention group founded by Giffords and Kelly, 79 percent of North Dakotans support expanded background checks when buying a gun.