Person

Peter Ambler

Born:

El Paso, Texas

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Gun-Control Activist

Peter Amber is a gun control activist who co-founded and works as executive director of Giffords, an organization that supports stricter regulations on firearms. Prior to his work at Giffords, Ambler had years of experience working in multiple Democratic offices. [1] In 2013, Ambler was the Legislative Director for then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) when she was critically wounded during an assassination attempt. Ambler helped manage the office in the days, weeks, and months after the shooting. [2]

As executive director of Giffords, Ambler has worked to pass bills on the state and national level to limit firearm rights. Ambler has also overseen advertising campaigns designed to pressure politicians to support stricter regulation of firearms. [3] In 2015, Ambler participated in a private meeting with President Barack Obama where he urged President Obama to use executive actions to regulate firearms. [4]

According to available tax documents, in 2018, Ambler was compensated $165,897 for his work at Giffords. [5]

Career

Early Career

Peter Ambler began his career working for Democratic politicians. In 2004, he worked as an organizer for the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of former Rep. Brad Carson (D-OK). In 2006, he worked as the regional director for the successful campaign of former Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA). From 2005 to 2008, Ambler worked as a legislative assistant to then-Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX). In 2008, Ambler worked as a regional director for the Obama for America campaign. From 2008 to 2009, Ambler worked as a legislative assistant and associate for the Rules Committee for Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT). From 2009 to the end of 2010, Ambler worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff for then-Rep. Harry Teague (D-NM). [6] [7]

In January of 2011, Ambler began working as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). Five days after Ambler started working for her, Giffords was critically wounded when she was shot during an assassination attempt that left six others dead, including another member of Giffords’ Congressional staff. [8] Ambler helped to lead the office in the days, weeks, and months following the shooting. [9]

In 2012, Ambler served briefly as a special adviser to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in the Obama Administration. [10]

Giffords

In 2013, Gabrielle Giffords formed the 501(c)(4) advocacy group Americans for Responsible Solutions with her husband Mark Kelly, who was later elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Arizona in 2020. [11] Ambler was a co-founder of that organization and served as its strategic director. [12] Americans for Responsible Solutions supported stricter gun control laws proposed at both the national level and in state governments. [13] Ambler “worked closely with Senate leaders” to try to pass the 2013 Manchin-Toomey background check bill that would have expanded mandatory background checks on gun purchases. [14] [15] The proposal failed to pass the Senate. [16] Americans for Responsible Solutions later came to oppose the bill in favor of more expansive regulations on gun sales. Ambler said the bipartisan bill would have been a “good, solid expansion,” but he also said it contained many “giveaways to the NRA.” [17] [18]

In a 2015 private meeting with President Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett, Ambler, Giffords, and Kelly urged the President to use executive actions to regulate the sales of firearms. [19] In 2016, Ambler was in the room when President Obama announced executive actions aimed at expanding the requirement for vendors of firearms to perform background checks. [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]

In 2016, Americans for Responsible Solutions merged with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and rebranded itself as Giffords. [25] Ambler took the post as the executive director for Giffords. [26] During the Trump administration, Ambler opposed the revocation of an Obama-era regulation that expanded the national background check database to include people receiving Social Security checks and those deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs. [27] [28]

According to the Giffords website, Ambler “developed and implemented innovative advertising and electoral campaigns in elections across the country.” [29] Giffords makes donations to candidates, mostly Democrats, who support more expansive regulations on firearms. [30] [31] The organization also produces ads against politicians, mostly Republicans, who have opposed regulations on firearms. [32] [33] [34]

In 2021, Ambler stated in an interview that he and Giffords were “very excited” about executive actions announced by President Joe Biden [35] that would ban certain arm braces used to stabilize a firearm while firing with one hand. The Biden executive actions also aimed to effectively prohibit homemade firearms. [36]

Also in 2021, Ambler has overseen an advertising campaign designed to pressure Senate Republicans into voting for a bill passed in the House to expand requirements for background checks. [37] [38] [39]

According to available tax documents, Ambler received a total of $165,897 in 2018 for his work as executive director. [40]

Personal Life

Ambler is married to Buffy Wicks, a Democratic member of the California legislature representing a district that includes the left-wing cities of Berkeley and Richmond. In June 2021, Wicks publicly called for overturning a decision by a federal judge that declared California’s state ban on certain types of firearms to be unconstitutional. [41] [42] Wilks said that the California legislature would do “whatever it takes” to ensure there is “not one single death from guns in California.” [43]

References

  1. “Peter Ambler.” LegiStorm. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.legistorm.com/person/bio/35147/Peter_M_Ambler.html. ^
  2. “Peter Ambler.” Giffords. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://giffords.org/people/peter-ambler/. ^
  3. Gangitano, Alex. “Giffords launches ad to pressure Senate to pass universal background checks bill.” The Hill. March 17, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/543478-giffords-launches-ad-to-pressure-senate-to-pass-universal-background ^
  4. Wheaton, Sarah. “Valerie Jarett’s war on guns.” June 21, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/valerie-jarrett-guns-224626 ^
  5. Giffords Form 990. 2018. Accessed June 18, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/465592432/12_2019_prefixes_45-47%2F465592432_201812_990O_2019121316952415 ^
  6. “Peter Ambler.” LinkedIn.com. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterambler/. ^
  7. “Peter Ambler.” LegiStorm. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.legistorm.com/person/bio/35147/Peter_M_Ambler.html. ^
  8. Gonzalez, Daniel. “Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: The victims.” AZcentral.com. Accessed June 17, 2021. http://archive.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/08/20110108arizona-congresswoman-gabrielle-giffords-shooting-victims-brk08-ON.html ^
  9. “Peter Ambler.” LinkedIn.com. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterambler/. ^
  10. “Peter Ambler.” LegiStorm. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.legistorm.com/person/bio/35147/Peter_M_Ambler.html. ^
  11. “Mark Kelly.” BallotPedia. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Mark_Kelly. ^
  12. “Peter Ambler.” LegiStorm. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.legistorm.com/person/bio/35147/Peter_M_Ambler.html. ^
  13. “Giffords” BallotPedia. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Giffords ^
  14. “Peter Ambler.” Giffords. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://giffords.org/people/peter-ambler/. ^
  15. Gorman, Michele. “Why Gabby Giffords’s Gun Safety Group Is Backing Two Republicans.” Newsweek. August 25, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.newsweek.com/why-gabby-giffordss-gun-safety-group-backing-two-republicans-493590 ^
  16. “Senate Vote 97 – Defeats Manchin-Toomey Background Checks Proposal.” Accessed June 17, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/represent/votes/113/senate/1/97. ^
  17. Gaudiano, Nicole. “Senator launches push for broad expansion of federal background checks for gun sales.” USA Today. October 25, 2017. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/25/senator-launches-push-broad-expansion-federal-background-checks-gun-sales/797449001/. ^
  18. DeJesus, Ivey. “Gun control group urges Pat Toomey to ditch his background checks bill and support a more comprehensive proposal.” Pennsylvania Real-Time News. August 22, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/08/gun-control-group-urges-pat-toomey-to-ditch-his-background-checks-bill-and-support-a-more-comprehensive-proposal.html ^
  19. Wheaton, Sarah. “Valerie Jarett’s war on guns.” June 21, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/valerie-jarrett-guns-224626 ^
  20. Lederman, Josh. “What you need to know about Obama’s executive actions on gun control” PBS.org. January 6, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/what-you-need-to-know-about-obamas-executive-actions-on-gun-control ^
  21. Yablon, Alex and Dan Friedman. “The Making of Obama’s Gun Plan.” February 16, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.thetrace.org/2016/02/obama-executive-actions-timeline-manchin-toomey/ ^
  22. Bradner, Eric and Gregory Krieg. “Emotional Obama calls for ‘sense of urgency’ to fight gun violence.” CNN.com. January 5, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/05/politics/obama-executive-action-gun-control/index.html ^
  23. Sola, Katie. “Here Are Obama’s New Executive Actions On Gun Control.” Forbes. January 6, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/katiesola/2016/01/06/obama-gun-control/?sh=117712e03f36 ^
  24. Yabon, Alex. “The ATF Rarely Busts Unlicensed Gun Sellers. Obama’s New Plan Isn’t Going to Change That.” The Trace. February 11, 2016. https://www.thetrace.org/2016/02/atf-unlicensed-gun-dealers-obama-executive- actions/. ^
  25. “Giffords” BallotPedia. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Giffords ^
  26. “Peter Ambler.” Giffords. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://giffords.org/people/peter-ambler/. ^
  27. Vitali, Ali. “Trump Signs Bill Revoking Obama-Era Gun Checks for People with Mental Illnesses.” NBC News. February 28, 2017. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-signs-bill-revoking-obama-era-gun-checks-people-mental-n727221. ^
  28. Edelman, Adam. “If Trump’s Blaming Mental Health, Why Did He Gut This Obama Gun-Check Rule.” November 6, 2017. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/texas-church-shooting/if-trump-s-blaming-mental-health-why-did-he-end-n818041 ^
  29. “Peter Ambler.” Giffords. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://giffords.org/people/peter-ambler/. ^
  30. Bowman, Bridget. “Gun Control Movement Turns to Campaigns.” Roll Call. October 3, 2017. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/gun-control-movement-campaigns. ^
  31. “Americans for Responsible Solutions: Independent Expenditures.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs//C00540443/independent-expenditures/2016. ^
  32. Osborne, Mark. “Shooting survivor Gabby Giffords rolls out anti-gun ad attacking Florida governor.” Febuary 21, 2018. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/shooting-survivor-gabby-giffords-rolls-anti-gun-ad/story?id=53238093 ^
  33. Ferguson, Joe. “Ad Watch: ARS releases new ad, “Stalker Gap.” September 17, 2014. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://tucson.com/news/blogs/pueblo-politics/ad-watch-ars-releases-new-ad-stalker-gap/article_1f3fa176-040e-5db6-b832-169e8fec04ed.html ^
  34. “Peter Ambler.” C-SPAN. November 26, 2019. Accessed June 21, 2021. https://www.c-span.org/video/?466793-1/newsmakers-peter-ambler ^
  35. “Transcript: ‘Children Under Fire: An American Crisis’ with Peter Amber, Gabby Giffords & Greg Gregory.” Washington Post. April 8, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live/2021/04/08/transcript-children-under-fire-an-american-crisis-with-peter-ambler-gabby-giffords-greg-gregory/ ^
  36. Jaffe, Alexandra. “Biden orders gun control actions – but they show his limits.” AP News. April 9, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-violence-merrick-garland-gun-politics-gun-violence-7ddb30681ca3abbf1a0faa286e3df7b2 ^
  37. Bresnahan, John. “Dems move toward first vote to crack down on gun violence.” February 25, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/25/gun-control-background-checks-1182421. ^
  38. McLeond, Paul. “Democrats Are Willing To Rein In Their Gun Control Ambitions To Break The NRA’s Hold On Congress.” BuzzFeed News. March 19, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/paulmcleod/gun-control-senate-democrats-plan-atlanta ^
  39. Gangitano, Alex. “Giffords launches ad to pressure Senate to pass universal background checks bill.” The Hill. March 17, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/543478-giffords-launches-ad-to-pressure-senate-to-pass-universal-background ^
  40. Giffords Form 990. 2018. Accessed June 18, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/465592432/12_2019_prefixes_45-47%2F465592432_201812_990O_2019121316952415 ^
  41. “Buffy Wicks.” Twitter.com. June 10, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://twitter.com/BuffyWicks/status/1403089629536940032 ^
  42. Meeks, Alexandra. “Federal judge overturns California’s ban on assault weapons and likens AR-15 to Seiss Army knife.” June 5, 2021. Accessed June 18, 2021. https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/05/us/california-gun-ban-overturned/index.html ^
  43. “Buffy Wicks.” Twitter.com. June 10, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://twitter.com/BuffyWicks/status/1403089629536940032 ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Non-profit)
    Strategic Director
  2. Giffords PAC (Americans for Responsible Solutions) (Political Party/527)
    Strategic Director (Americans for Responsible Solutions)
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