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Friday, October 21, 2016

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the reform group financed by New York City mayor and outspoken gun safety advocate Michael Bloomberg, is once again raising political pressure on Congress to strengthen gun laws.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg announced that the group would begin copying a successful tactic from the National Rifle Association by scoring congresspersons with “A” through “F” letter grades. According to a statement from Bloomberg and co-chair Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, congresspersons will be scored on their stances on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, concealed carrying standards, assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines, anti-gun trafficking laws, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, among other issues.

“For too long, the only voice that has been loud enough to influence Congress has been the Washington gun lobby’s – that’s how we’ve ended up with ineffective gun laws that have fueled our country’s gun violence epidemic,” Bloomberg said. “Now we’re working to make sure that the voices of the more than 900 bipartisan mayors in our coalition – and the 90 percent of Americans who support common-sense reforms like background checks for all gun sales – are heard loud and clear. It’s time for Congress to take action to save lives and protect our communities.”

The plan marks the latest in a string of efforts to strengthen gun laws from Mayor Bloomberg, who has vowed to use his vast fortune as a counterweight to the NRA’s well-funded lobby. Bloomberg, who is worth roughly $27 billion, has already spent $12 million on ads pressuring 10 senators on gun laws.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns also released a new ad Tuesday pushing Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) on background checks.

“On gun safety, Pennsylvania has a strong background check system. But guns don’t respect state borders,” the ad says. “Now the U.S. Senate can pass comprehensive background check legislation that will stop criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from using loopholes to get guns.”

“Senator Toomey understands how important that change is,” the ad continues before showing a clip of Toomey voicing support for the policy and urging viewers to call his office.

Toomey, who is currently negotiating with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on a bipartisan background check deal, is arguably the most important individual senator in the push to strengthen gun laws. Due to his reputation as a right-wing conservative, Toomey’s involvement could provide political cover for other Republicans to sign on to a compromise bill.

Notably, Mayors Against Illegal Guns seems ready for a compromise, as opposed to more ambitious reform. The ad targeting Toomey calls for “comprehensive” legislation, but stops short of demanding universal background checks, which the group has vocally supported in the past.

Photo: Center for American Progress via

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  • I wonder who was really behind the Houston stabbing incident…If the intent was to demonstrate that ours is a violent society, they failed miserably. The latter should be apparent to every citizen. Instead of achieving its intended goal, the stabbings proved beyond a doubt the different outcomes that take place when an irrational person is armed with a knife or with a Bushmaster. Had this hapless specimen of a human being been armed with an assault weapon, a semi-automatic weapon, and a high capacity magazine, most of his victims would have beend dead instead of suffering superficial wounds and being released from local hospitals after getting a few stitches.
    Mr. Bloomberg and every responsible leader in office should put more pressure on Washington to do what they know is right and tell the NRA to take a hike.

    • johninPCFL

      A similar incident happened the same day as the Newtown shootings in China, with similar results. 26 stabbed, none dead.

    • So you’re saying it is perfectly acceptable for persons to get stabbed? Keep the citizenry disarmed ensuring they are victims to the first thug or gang that comes along. Wonderful lover of life you progressive useful idiots are.
      Why you morons are so intent on starting another civil war in this country is beyond me? None of my guns have harmed anyone. But whenever you progressive/fascists are feeling froggy enough come and take my guns by force you don’t leave much choice to those who just wish to just be left alone. You’re a bunch of sad sad little ceasars.

      • If you REALLY want to prove you are “Macho”, face the family of someone who lost a child to some whack job with a semi-automatic rifle, ten or fifteen, 30 round magazines, and a few semi-automatic hand guns.


      • wesley rasmussen

        So tell me, is a background check going to automatically STOP the sales of all firearms? Is that the purpose of them? Do you think that families victimized by violence at the business end of a firearm want to take them away from EVERYONE???
        Well, consider this. I support universal background checks. I support weapons of war, along with their magazines, capable of killing dozens without reloading, be kept in their intended place – on the soldiers’ battleground. I also support the right of individuals to have a rifle or shotgun for hunting or target practice, as well as hand guns ( even concealed carry permits if warranted ) for personal protection. How does that fit into your mold? No one is trying to take YOUR precious weapon from you – only to keep them out of the hands off those unqualified to have them.
        And, to give you some extra perspective, my daughter last weekend was kidnapped by 3 men with a handgun, after being sexually molested with the barrel at her forehead ( she still has the mark there ), and forced to withdraw money from an ATM for them. They let her go, but kept the money, her ID, as well as her cell phone and other items.
        They then robbed another home, but the one who molested my daughter was stopped in this house by a daughter in law who shot him in the abdomen, and they all werre apprehended at the hospital.
        Use your head, man, and realize that not EVERYONE has the right to bear arms, if they can be proven to be dangerous. We do the same thing with drivers’ licenses…

      • so stop scaring us ,you bum ,let’s do it now ha. you are just full of talk,and do nothing. your Crazy pres. G W Bush

      • Nope don’t think so! If you didn’t have the NRA money behind this, this bill wold have passed a long time ago!! You are the ones making this country unsafe with your slogans “from my cold,dead hands” and “MY 2nd amendment rights”! We all have the same RIGHTS! I have the right to walk down the street or through a park without being afraid of some gun nut getting offended and shooting someone becuse he was having a bad day!!

  • CrankyToo

    Michael Bloomberg’s legacy will be one of heroic leadership. Get some, Mike!

    • and America dies a progressive, collectivist, anti-liberty death by applause from ignorant useful idiots wishing for nanny-state fascism. be careful what you wish for.

      • I love your description but I bet you don’t know what the meaning is of half the words you just used!

  • Pamby50

    Here’s the latest. I just saw a report that in Louisiana, a convicted felon was arrest because he had an AK47 & a semi-automatic gun in his car. He told the judge that yes he was a convicted felon and yes he had those weapons in his car but he wants the charges thrown out due to the new law about gun ownership. And the judge did. Now govenor Jindahl says that’s not what the law is suppose to do. The NRA practically wrote the law that would change the constitution that will now allow spousal abusers, mentally ill and some felons to own weapons. Will they change it back, I doubt it. While the right is talking about the stabbing in TX, I haven’t heard anyone talking about the 4 yr old who shot and kill his 6yr old neighbor with a rifle in New Jersey. So many kids are killed because their parents don’t safely store their weapons. Just sad.