Ads promoting tougher gun regulations up significantly from four years ago

Ads promoting tougher gun regulations up significantly from four years ago
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More than 100,000 ads promoting stricter gun laws have aired so far this year, a drastic increase compared to four years ago as Democratic candidates seize on the issue ahead of November's midterms, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The news outlet analyzed data from Kantar Media/CMAG data that found 102,636 pro-gun control ads aired from Jan. 1 to Sept. 9, which is 22 times more than the 4,491 pro-gun control ads that aired during the same period in 2014.

Anti-control ads are also up, but not by as large a margin.

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House, Senate, gubernatorial candidates and affiliated groups have aired 63,070 ads classified in the data as anti-gun control. That's a little more than double the 24,194 anti-gun control ads that aired in the same window in 2014, The Wall Street Journal found.

Pro-gun control ads were particularly prevalent in races that are considered "toss-ups" by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election forecaster, according to The Journal.

While gun control has always been a political wedge issue, it emerged as a flashpoint earlier this year following a shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, students and many Democratic lawmakers called for stricter gun laws. They suggested raising the age requirement to purchase weapons, banning assault weapons and implementing more rigorous background checks.

Some Republicans voiced support for certain measures, but ultimately no major gun control legislation passed.

Instead, Congress agreed to provide additional funding to bolster the national background check system, and the Trump administration issued a plan calling for local officials to "harden" schools to prevent future shootings.