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Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, husband confirmed for Raleigh visit Sunday


As Dome reported last Sunday, former Arizona Congresswoman and shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut and combat veteran Mark Kelly, will wrap up their seven-day, seven-state tour across the country in Raleigh on Sunday.

Details have been withheld until Friday night, and even now the precise location has not been publicly disclosed. Reporters will be given information once they are confirmed.

All that's known now is Giffords and Kelly will go shooting at a local sporting clay range in the morning, followed by a roundtable discussion with gun owners, and then a picnic with local members of their gun-control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions. The couple will meet with reporters after the roundtable.

Giffords and Kelly have targeted states to generate support for expanded background checks for gun purchases. The Washington Post reported that they are visiting states to thank congressional representatives for their position on the issue, or to put pressure on them to support the checks.

The couple is spreading the message that polling shows large majorities of Americans favor expanded background checks, regardless of party affiliation. Their group promotes Second Amendment rights but stronger laws to prevent gun violence.

Update: Paul Valone, president of the gun-rights group Grass Roots North Carolina, on Saturday afternoon chided the couple for keeping their itinerary secret.

He announced a game of "Where's Gabby?" and offered 100 rounds of semi-automatic weapon ammunition for free to the first person who figures out where the Raleigh shooting range is.

Gabby Giffords, husband bringing anti-gun violence tour to N.C.

Former Arizona congresswoman and shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, will include North Carolina – possibly Raleigh – in a nationwide anti-gun violence tour in North Carolina that begins Monday and ends July 7.

The couple will begin the tour in Nevada and will visit Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Ohio. Specifics for their N.C. visit haven't been announced.

Dubbed the Rights and Responsibilities Tour, its purpose is to promote responsibility in exercising Second Amendment rights. The couple supports expanded background checks. It is sponsored by a group calling itself Americans for Responsible Solutions, which Kelly co-founded.

Gabby Giffords likely to make DNC appearance

It could be one of the emotional highlights of the 2012 Democratic National Convention: An appearance on stage at Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, still recovering from an assassination attempt.

It's a prospect Democratic national chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz signaled Tuesday when asked about the prospect of a Giffords appearance.

Gabrielle Giffords in Asheville

News outlets (CNN, AP, USA Today) report U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords arrived in Asheville yesterday for two weeks of intensive therapy.

The Arizona Democrat was shot in head in early January. Six people were killed and 13 injuried in the mass shooting.

Free handgun classes for legislators

A shooting instructor from Elm City is offering state legislators and North Carolina's congressional delegation free concealed carry classes.

Business owner Chris Raper said he decided to make the offer after the assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

No takers yet, but Raper said he's just beginning to get the word out.

"I don't expect anyone to make a mad rush to the door," he said. "I just want people to be more aware of their personal security."

Students must bring their own weapons, ammunition, and eye and hearing protection.

Local congressmen cancel press conference

U.S. Reps. Brad Miller and David Price, both Democrats, canceled a press conference scheduled for tomorrow on the repeal of the federal health care law.

The Republican majority in the U.S. House planned to vote on repeal this week, but U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has postponed votes in light of the shooting in Arizona that left six people dead and Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically injured.

Miller, who represents the 13th Congressional District, and Price, who represents the 4th Congressional District, voted for the health care law.

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