Bloomberg: Va. voters ‘stood up’ to NRA
© Greg Nash

Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) on Wednesday said Virginia voters “stood up” to the National Rifle Association (NRA) by electing Democrat Terry McAuliffe as governor.

In an appearance on CNN’s "The Lead," Bloomberg touted McAuliffe’s victory over Republican Ken Cuccinelli as a sign voters are more open to restrictions on guns.

“Virginia is the home state of the NRA. If I 20 years ago said to you that a Democrat who was F-rated by the NRA and unabashedly in favor of common-sense gun checks [could win there], you’d have laughed me out of the room,” Bloomberg said.

“A majority of the voters in Virginia want common-sense background checks,” he continued. “The people of Virginia have spoken, and the people of Virginia will be safer for it.”

Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman, was a major financial player in the race. His Independence USA PAC gave $1.7 million to McAuliffe and another $1.3 million to other candidates in Virginia.
Bloomberg is one of the most prominent advocates of gun control in the United States, and founded the groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006.

He said he had a personal stake in backing pro-gun control candidates in Virginia.

“When we stop people with guns [in New York City], more of them come from Virginia, sadly, than from any other state,” he said.

Bloomberg said he hoped President Obama would continue to take action on gun control as the one-year anniversary of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., approaches.