Bloomberg launches $12M ad blitz to pressure senators on gun control

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is bankrolling a $12 million ad buy which will target swing state senators ahead of next month’s votes on gun control.

His group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, unveiled a new ad Saturday which they hope will rally support for universal background checks.

In one ad, titled “Responsible,” a man holding a shotgun says he “believes in the Second Amendment, and I’ll fight to protect it.”

“But with rights come responsibilities, that’s why I support comprehensive background checks so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns,” he continues. “That protects my rights and my family.”

The ad closes by encouraging viewers to urge lawmakers to endorse comprehensive background checks for firearm purchasers.

In a second add, the same actor says “background checks have nothing to do with taking a gun away from anyone.”

The ads will air in 13 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, CNN reports.

The ad campaign begins Tuesday and will run over the two-week congressional Easter recess.

Bloomberg tweeted out his support for the new campaign late Saturday, writing “We demanded a plan and we got one. We demanded a vote and we'll get one. Now we're doing all we can to pass a bill that will save lives.”

The ads come as the Senate readies to consider a gun-control package in April. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the package would include measures for stronger background checks, tougher penalties against straw purchasers and more grants for schools to upgrade security. 

The Bloomberg ads make no mention of banning the sale of assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.

Reid said last week that an assault weapons provision would not be part of the gun package voted on in the Senate, a win for the National Rifle Association which has opposed the measure. 

But proponents are pushing for a vote as an amendment. Reid cautioned that including the assault weapons provision could drag down the entire gun control bill in the face of heated opposition.

Bloomberg on Sunday said that supporters were “going to get the vote.”

We've been fighting since 2007 to get a vote. We are going to have a vote for sure on assault weapons and we're going to have a vote on background checks,” he said in an interview for NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Gun reform advocates believe background checks have the strongest support and the best chance of passing Congress this session. An assault weapons bill though is unlikely to pass the GOP House.

The background check bill slated for a Senate floor vote was drafted by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and would require checks for all private gun sales. Efforts at a bipartisan bill stalled over GOP concerns that the measure could lead to a national database of firearm owners.