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Dec 15, 2015 5:24 PM

Landrigan: Gabby Giffords returns to NH to fight for 'common sense' gun regulation legislation

CONCORD - A day after the three-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, an iconic victim of gun violence returns to New Hampshire.

"Stopping gun violence takes courage," former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords said. "The courage to do what’s right. The courage of new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line."

Giffords knows something about courage - fighting on after a 2011 bid to kill her in a Tucson shopping mall.

Her husband, Mark Kelly says New Hampshire has its own epidemic of deadly shootings.

"Every three days in the Granite State - every three days - a resident dies of a gunshot wound,’’ Kelly said.

They returned to New Hampshire to form the Coalition for Common Sense to close firearm law loopholes like a background check to buy a gun from an unlicensed person, to share mental health information with a federal database.

"Our laws allow a domestic abuser to buy a gun without a criminal background check. Why on earth would we allow that opportunity?’’ former house speaker Terie Norelli asked rhetorically.

Former Republican senator Rick Russman admitted the gun lobby is powerful and beaten back similar efforts here.

"When is enough enough? At some point we all have to look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning and say are we doing all we can for our constituents," Russman said.

Giffords vows to keep the pressure on.

"We must never stop fighting, fight, fight, fight. Be bold. Be courageous. The nation is counting on you,’’ Giffords said.

This is really about branding. If it becomes a battle about gun control, this coalition will fail miserably.

If it becomes about closing loopholes, maybe they have a shot.

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