Guns and the Special Election in Arizona

The Story:

Mark Kelly (D) and Martha McSally (R) are competing candidates in a special election for one of that state’s seats in the US Senate. McSally was appointed by the state’s Governor to fill the vacancy created by Senator McCain’s death, and now she is running to secure the seat through the end of what would have been McCain’s full term (January 2023).


Kelly is a former NASA space shuttle pilot. He flew four missions in that capacity from 2001 to 2011. He is also the husband of Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed in 2011, an incident that made of both husband and wife firm supporters of gun control.

That issue is very germane to this year’s election. Indeed, McSally has received more contributions from anti-gun-control organizations than any other federal legislator in decades.  Nonetheless, McSally has said that she is open to certain gun related reforms, such as red flag laws.

The Thing to Know:

A “red flag law” allows police or family members to petition a court to remove the guns from a particular person’s possession if there are reasons to believe he is a threat to himself or others. Such laws exist in several states, and some have suggested such a law at the federal level as well.

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