The ad shows Knight holding a fistful of money, with the NRA headquarters building in the background, as an announcer notes Knight has taken $4,000 from the NRA. Judging by his votes, Knight is “bought and paid for” by the gun lobby, according to the ad.
“We are putting gun-lobby backed politicians on notice that they can’t hide from their record any longer,” said Giffords executive director Peter Ambler.
Giffords is the group set to run the ads, and is named after former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot while meeting with constituents in 2011. She survived and now works with her husband to fight against the epidemic of gun violence.
Giffords political director Isabelle James told NBC that the ads are an effort to show flex the muscles of gun-safety advocates and show that groups can punish NRA-aligned lawmakers at the polls.
According to Giffords, Knight has taken more than $15,000 from the gun lobby (the ad mentions only the $4,000 directly from the NRA). During his time in Congress, the group alleges Knight, “has repeatedly opposed gun restriction laws aimed at keeping California’s schools and streets safe.” In a 2016 email, the NRA bragged that Knight “opposes gun control,” a position Giffords is seeking to remind voters about before they head to the polls in November.
According to tracking by NPR, Knight has voted to loosen gun restrictions at every opportunity while in Congress. He even voted to make it easier for individuals with a mental illness to purchase a gun. Meanwhile, voters in the Los Angeles region support stricter gun control measures by a stunning 79-4 margin.
In an effort to garner support for a bill he introduced, Knight went as far as producing a sham poll on his Congressional website, and then cherry-picked responses to support his position.
And when there was an opportunity to speak at a community forum about gun violence, Knight skipped it. His Democratic opponents spoke at the event, each supporting commonsense gun regulations.
Knight is already widely proclaimed to be the most endangered Republican incumbent in California, and, according to some, in the entire nation. If gun violence continues to loom large in the minds of voters, Knight may need to stop hiding and explain himself.