Washington, DC After news broke that the U.S. Justice Department charged a Russian National, Maria Butina, with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent and influence American politics on behalf of the Russian government, Peter Ambler, executive director of the gun safety group Giffords, released the following statement. According to media reports, Butina has sought out ties with leaders of the National Rifle Association.
Peter Ambler, Giffords Executive Director:
"Today is yet another example of how the National Rifle Association's quest for power has made the organization increasingly out of touch with the American gun owners they claim to represent. It's time for NRA executives to provide some answers. The arrest of an NRA-linked Russian gun-rights activist alleged to be illegally working as an agent of the Putin government raises serious questions about whose interests the gun lobby is advancing in our democracy. Congress must get to the bottom of whether the NRA used Russian money in its record-breaking 2016 election spending to advance its priorities. As a criminal investigation continues to produce indictments that show Russia meddled in our democracy, the NRA owes their members a detailed explanation on who they helped and what they did."
Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.