Former Rep. Giffords meets with Newtown families during 7-state weeklong tour

Mary Schwalm/AP Photo In this photo taken Friday, July 5, 2013, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, right, and her husband retired astronaut and combat veteran Captain Mark Kelly, center right, seen from behind, meet with New Hampshire supporters and parents of Newtown, Conn., Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims at the Orchard Street Chop Shop in Dover, N.H. Those attending include New Hampshire state Sen. David Waters, left, and Sandy Hook parents Nicole Hockley, third from left, mother of Dylan, and Jackie and Mark Barden, center, parents of Daniel. Three years after being shot in the head, Giffords is in New Hampshire to urge support for background checks on gun purchases.

DOVER, N.H. (AP) — Thirty months after a gunman shot her through the head, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has become the face of the fight for gun control.

Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, are in the midst of a seven-state-in-seven-day tour across America. They've clicked through more than 8,000 miles this week, encouraging allies and opponents alike from Alaska to Maine to defy the National Rifle Association.

Giffords and Kelly are hoping to generate momentum for federal legislation that would expand background checks on gun purchases. It's a scaled-back version of a broad legislative package to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting rampage that left 20 Connecticut children dead.

The bill is stalled in a divided Congress now preparing for its summer recess.

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