Gun Control Advocates Employ State By State Strategy

Gun Control Advocates Employ State By State Strategy

Gun Control Advocates Employ State By State Strategy

A gun-control organization backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg that enlists mothers to speak out againstgunviolence is racking up some modest victories around the U.S., employing the state-by-state strategy used so effectively to fight drunken driving and expand gay rights.

Everytown forGunSafety and its subsidiary, Moms Demand Action forGunSense in America, have helped push six states since 2013 to adopt more background checks ongunsales — what they consider the single most important measure to prevent shootings. They have also helped thwart legislation in several states that would make it easier to obtain firearms and carry them in more places such as schools.

The mighty National Rifle Association still has the upper hand in many places in the U.S. But Everytown, which aspires to become the NRA's counterweight, has certain advantages over prior gun-control campaigns, namely more money, strategic support from the former mayor of New York, and a well-organized network of activist moms whose numbers are growing in reaction to recent mass shootings.

"We merged the head and the heart," said Everytown president John Feinblatt, who was a top mayoral aide to Bloomberg. "We have the smartest lawyers in the country working on this issue, but we also have people who will do anything to make sure their families are protected."

Everytown grew out of the merger last year of the Bloomberg-backed Mayors Against IllegalGunsand Moms Demand Action, which was formed by public relations executive Shannon Watts after the 2012 killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

After Congress rejected a move to expand background checks following the Sandy Hook tragedy, activists turned their attention to statehouses, seeking what they say are modest, commonsense laws.


Read full story: