And since January, the two have worked together as well. They started Americans for Responsible Solutions, an organization and super PAC dedicated to pushing Giffords' former colleagues in Congress to support new restrictions to help curb gun violence.
Giffords and Kelly own guns, and CNN filmed Kelly taking target practice with the same kind of gun Jared Loughner used to wound Giffords and kill six other people. Giffords says she would like to learn to shoot again, but it's not a high priority.
When asked about the National Rifle Association's argument that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Giffords becomes animated.
"It doesn't work!" she says. "It doesn't work."
She says if she were still in Congress, she would have supported new gun-control legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
Giffords' work and her recovery are not unrelated. Those around her said she has noticeably made more progress with her speech and physical challenges over the past few months since she re-engaged in the world of politics and public policy.
Kelly said Giffords does have moments of frustration, but both insist she is mostly optimistic and not resentful.
"No. Move ahead," said Giffords. "Move ahead."