Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Friday called on New Hampshire's political leaders to have courage in the fight to expand background checks on gun purchases.

She appeared at a downtown Manchester press conference alongside state law enforcement officials and her husband, Mark Kelly, a former Navy pilot and astronaut.

"Stopping gun violence takes courage," said Giffords, who left Congress one year after being shot through the head on Jan. 8, 2011 at a constituents' event in Tucson.

Giffords and Kelly are on a seven-state tour to press for background check legislation currently stalled in a divided Congress. It was voted down in the Senate earlier this year.

Earlier in the day, Kelly purchased a rifle at the Village Gun Shop in Whitefield, a popular stop for Republican politicians courting New Hampshire voters.