Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
Former astronaut Mark Kelly, who is the husband of former Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords, will speak to a group of students at the University of Arlington about a new push for universal background checks and other gun control measures.
The former astronaut and husband of the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot at a public appearance two years ago is in North Texas.
Mark Kelly, the former astronaut who is married to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will address a full auditorium on Tuesday night as part of the Maverick Speaker Series at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Giffords was gunned down at a Congress on Your Corner event in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 8, 2011.
After the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the couple started Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee aimed at passing gun-control laws while still protecting Second Amendment rights.
Kelly told reporters on Tuesday that he bought a hunting rifle in October and passed a five-minute background check. He said everyone should be subjected to one, regardless of where they buy a gun.
"Often, the gun lobby and the leadership of the NRA will point out that criminals will not subject themselves to background checks, but that's not true," he said. "Since 1999, 1.7 million criminals were denied a gun when trying to pass a background check and they failed."
"The problem is, they can walk down the street to the gun show or the private seller and buy a gun that way," Kelly said.
Americans for Responsible Solutions also aims to limit high-capacity magazines and assault rifles. Kelly also said that more needs to be done to stop gun trafficking.