WASHINGTON – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a $12 million television ad campaign urging U.S. senators to support legislation that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
The ads running in 13 states, including Indiana, are intended to encourage people to call their senators if they believe that we should have gun checks that stop criminals and people with mental illnesses from getting guns, Bloomberg said Sunday on NBCs Meet the Press program.
The Senate is preparing an April vote on legislation including federal aid for school safety, tougher penalties for gun trafficking and broader background checks for purchases, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said on March 21. The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
President Obama and some federal lawmakers are seeking tighter gun regulations after the Dec. 14 shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that killed 20 children and six school employees.
A proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases to include sales at gun shows is opposed by the National Rifle Association and a number of Republicans in Congress.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns is also planning 100 events across the U.S. on Thursday as part of its National Day to Demand Action on gun regulations.
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association, said Bloombergs ad campaign will fail to persuade the public to support gun restrictions.
The whole thing, universal checks, is a dishonest premise, LaPierre said in an interview on Meet the Press. Criminals arent going to be checked. Theyre not going to do this.