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Gabrielle Giffords pays visit to N.Y. gun show

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited a gun show in New York on Sunday and then offered a plea for an end to firearms violence.

Tim Roske/REUTERS

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited a gun show in New York on Sunday and then offered a plea for an end to firearms violence.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — A smiling Gabrielle Giffords toured rows of tables loaded with rifles and handguns Sunday in her first visit to a gun show since surviving a 2011 shooting, and pleaded afterward for people to come together to stop gun violence.

The former Arizona congresswoman visited the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair with her husband, Mark Kelly, and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York to highlight a voluntary agreement that closely monitors gun show sales in New York.

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The trio mixed with a gun show crowd that was mostly welcoming — with a few hostile undertones — before calling for people to build on the cooperative effort.

‘‘We must never stop fighting,’’ Giffords said at a post-tour news conference, her fist in the air. ‘‘Fight! Fight! Fight! Be bold! Be courageous!’’

Giffords, a face of the national gun control effort, slowly walked hand-in-hand with Kelly, an astronaut, through the large room where Winchester rifles, muzzle-loaders, antique knives, and other weapons were on display and ‘‘Don’t Tread on Me’’ flags hung from poles.

They stopped at display tables, Kelly asked dealers questions about the weapons, and Giffords shook hands and smiled when people greeted her. ‘‘Good to see you looking good!’’ some said. Kelly bought a book on Colt revolvers, and said later he probably would have bought a gun if he had had more time. He said both he and his wife are gun owners.

The trio was greeted by light applause when introduced at the news conference, but some people booed from across the room. Many at the show said the couple made a good impression.

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