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Mayors Against Illegal Guns Urge Action on Background Checks

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

Mayors Against Illegal Guns released TV ads in states nationwide earlier this week demanding senators take action on common sense gun reform. The ads will air in thirteen states during the congressional recess and target specific legislators to vote for legislation currently being considered in the U.S. Senate.

  • Arizona - Senator Jeff Flake (R)
  • Arkansas - Senator Mark Pryor (D)
  • Georgia - Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R)
  • Indiana - Senator Joe Donnelly (D) and Senator Dan Coats (R)
  • Iowa - Senator Chuck Grassley (R)
  • Louisiana - Senator Mary Landrieu (D)
  • Maine - Senator Susan Collins (R)
  • New Hampshire - Senator Kelly Ayotte (R)
  • Nevada - Senator Dean Heller (R)
  • North Carolina - Senator Kay Hagan (D)
  • North Dakota - Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D)
  • Ohio - Senator Rob Portman (R)
  • Pennsylvania - Senator Pat Toomey (R)

"These ads bring the voices of Americans - who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks - into the discussion to move Senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence," said Michael Bloomberg, New York City mayor and co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. "We demanded a plan and we got one. We demanded a vote and we'll get one. Now we're doing what we can to pass a bill that will save lives."

Americans are clearly divided on many issues pertaining to gun policy in America. Efforts by more-progressive members of Congress to ban semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines has been met with strong resistance from factions on Capitol Hill that lean more to the right.

However, universal background checks is one initiative that many members of both major political parties can agree on, not to mention an overwhelming majority of Americans.

After Obama’s first State of the Union address since being re-elected, Gallup poll results indicated that over ninety percent of voters in the U.S. would vote in favor of the government requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. Still, the idea is not free of opposition and one of its biggest opponents, the NRA, has a powerful lobby in Washington.

"As many as 40 percent of all gun transfers take place without a background check because of gaps in our laws," Mayor Jonathan Rothschild (D-Tucson) said. "It's no wonder that majorities of Democrats and Republicans support fixing that dangerous loophole. Failure to act in Washington despite such clear consensus will not go unnoticed."

The plan was to have the ads precede events the coalition of over 900 mayors hosted on Thursday to keep the issue at the forefront of political discourse. They will continue to air throughout the duration of the recess.

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