First on CNN: OFA collects 1.4 million signatures for gun control
May 7th, 2013
02:28 PM ET
11 months ago

First on CNN: OFA collects 1.4 million signatures for gun control

(CNN) – The political group formed from President Barack Obama's presidential campaign has collected more than 1.4 million signatures on a petition urging congressional leaders to reconsider and pass legislation expanding background checks on gun sales.

Organizing for Action collected the signatures online and in-person, and will send the petition to leaders on Capitol Hill Thursday. Rules prevent the boxes of paper from being delivered directly to lawmakers, so names will be sent digitally, and the physical signatures will be shipped to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner.

The petition, addressed to Reid, Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, points out an overwhelming number of Americans supporting extending background checks.

"The vast majority of Americans from all corners of the country are united in support of expanded background checks for gun sales," the petition reads. "I'm calling on you to listen to the American people and act to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It will make our communities and schools safer. Please take action to expand background checks today."

Obama elevated gun control to a top priority of his second term agenda following the December shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. His push, however, received a major blow in April when the Senate defeated a bipartisan background checks measure. Further legislation putting new restrictions on guns was put on hold.

After the vote, Obama called out senators who opposed the background checks bill, suggesting they were ignoring the will of the people who elected them.

OFA, which actively promoted Obama's gun control agenda in the months leading up to the vote, has made a heavy push for petition signatures through their large email distribution list, which was amassed during Obama's two successful White House bids.

Jon Carson, OFA's executive director, wrote in a message to supporters on Monday, "We'll never be as deep-pocketed or as well-connected as the gun lobby. What we have is better. It's the voices of real Americans who are standing up and saying they've seen enough of gun violence tearing apart communities like Newtown and Tucson and Aurora and Chicago."

Also on Monday, Carson said OFA would expand its field effort now that some lawmakers are discussing bringing gun control back up for a vote in Washington.

That includes additional organizers in what Carson called "targeted locations" to help promote Obama's agenda. OFA currently has paid staff in nineteen states.

"We really think a very important way to change the conversation in Washington is to demonstrate support for the president's agenda out in the states," Carson said.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Gun control • President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    I'm a hunter & believe in being able to protect you & your family w/a handgun. Who in the hell NEEDS to own an Assault Rifle or a 30 shot pistol clip? If your masculinity is that challenged or you're that selfish that you can't sacrifice this NEED for the possible Common Good for all, then please get yourself checked out mentally;seriously.

    May 7, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Guest

    If you want your welfare and food stamps this week, sign here............! They can get all the signatures they want, when they try to "take 'em" the next revolution begins.

    OFA? Overseeing Fraud and Abuse?

    May 7, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. plain&simple

    All you wing nuts have forgotten the old Bush phrase...."silent majority". Comparing an organization that's been collecting members for decades to collecting signatures for a few weeks is deluded. The majority will speak and the wingnutts provides plenty of motivation by opening their mouths and spewing nonsense.

    May 7, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. dixie

    We have a system in place for background checks. If it is used there should not be any change needed. The vote was taken, move on. We do have other issues that are also important and need to be changed such as health care. We would really like a second vote on that mess.

    May 7, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Mountainsboyca

    Really everyone! The joy of being American.
    Buy guns, unsecured, kids shoot kids, mental cases shooting whomever they feel like, carry on with your day like nothing is going on.
    Who is the president of the United States anyway? Not laPierre. Who is your congress or senate? Not the NRA.
    It is time that the citizens take back their government from the mouthpieces like the NRA and let your voice be heard through your representatives.
    This is not an issue of republican or democrat or lobbyist. This is an issue of decency and a touch of humanity.
    The fact remains that Americans are killing Americans. But what do you expect from a nation born on violence and brother killing brother. You never did finish your revolutionary war, you still hate the world outside your borders. You never did finish your civil war, just now it is in the streets of downtown somewhere USA.
    You have a more divisive population now than at any point in history. Maybe it is time to sit and talk rather than assume that the government is out to get you.
    You all are digging deeper into the world of "Idiocracy". Things are not working the way they are, why not try something else. You are not relinquishing any rights.
    One common thread, whether pro or anti regulations is that mental or depressed or medically unfit should not be allowed. Without expanded checks, how do you know who? Them there is the big question. Say anyone in a depressed state or on medications for such are not allowed to purchase, if you are later prescribed an anti-depressant, would you forfeit? I highly doubt it. Double standard and, if legislated, illegal. Way to go.

    May 7, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. rwc74

    So OFA is getting anti-2A signatures and the Dems are running pro-2A candidates in battleground states. A fool and his money are soon parted.

    May 7, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. scott

    Good luck with that. The majority of Americans are not for tougher gun controls but are for enforcing the current laws. 15000 criminals illegally tried to obtain fire arms and only 4 prosecutions. Why? Gun violence is drastically down in the past 10 years. So why not use the existing laws and do something about the mentally ill. Prevent another Sandy Hook, rather than just pushing a agenda.

    May 7, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Ian

    Second vote on health care? You guys down there need a whole new system! Maybe take a look at Canada, we pay a lot more for everything, but at the end of the day I dont have to worry about sky-high hospital bills.

    May 7, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    1.4 M signatures, The NRA has 5+ million paid members and lots and lots of friends. Including Heller and McDonald.
    By the way, those bone heads in DC have much bigger fish to fry than attempting to limit our rights. I wish they'd spend this much effort cutting spending. I am increasing my spending by sending $$ to Cruz, Lee and Ryan among others.

    May 7, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Miner One

    1.4 M signatures, The NRA has 5+ million paid members and lots and lots of friends. Including Heller and McDonald.
    By the way, those bone heads in DC have much bigger fish to fry than attempting to limit our rights. I wish they'd spend this much effort cutting spending. I am increasing my spending by sending $$ to Cruz, Lee and Ryan among others.

    May 7, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Johnp40

    You lost, libs. go get lost.

    May 7, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. rwc74

    So OFA is spending money getting anti-2A signatures while the Dems are running pro-2A candidates in battleground states. Fool and his money are soon parted.

    May 7, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Bill

    They claim 90% yet can'teven get

    May 7, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    " The majority of Americans are not for tougher gun controls but are for enforcing the current laws. "

    That statement is directly contradictory to what the polls show. Not that I'm surprised you would selectively ignore them, mind you...I'm just pointing it out because it's fun to highlight just how deeply entrenched in your reality denial fantasies you gun nuts and Teatrolls truly are.

    May 7, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "If you want your welfare and food stamps this week, sign here............! They can get all the signatures they want, when they try to "take 'em" the next revolution begins.

    OFA? Overseeing Fraud and Abuse?"

    Congratulations! You are the proud owner of a brand new tinfoil hat!!!!

    BTW, if you think there's a revolution and widespread armed revolt coming, you probably need some therapy and/or meds. Good thing the ACA will make sure you have access.

    May 7, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Welfare Mama for Obama

    A poll of which demographics says 90% approval? What was the sample size 0.000001% of the population? What is racist about my name as it is actually a pretty accurate depiction.... Welfare Mama's come in all races and most support Obama. Truth hurts much?

    May 7, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. travis

    To hunters who say high cap mags are "uneccessary". Fine but so are dodge rams, mcdonalds, and.... Hunting!. Its not about necessity, it is about freedom and control. Ur argument is completely junk.

    May 7, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Thomas

    @Guest
    If you want your welfare and food stamps this week, sign here............! They can get all the signatures they want, when they try to "take 'em" the next revolution begins.

    OFA? Overseeing Fraud and Abuse?

    ======

    Do you have such low self esteem to criticize those struggling or down on there luck ? You think the majority of those on welfare or food stamps want to be there, very few . Maybe if gun violence effected the 4% of the highest income bracket rather then those with lower incomes the laws would change .

    Who needs to own an Assault Rifle or a 30 shot pistol clip?
    Only military personal and law enforcement who have taking an oath to protect and serve out nation. .

    The next revolution begins when people like you find compassion in your hearts and stop thinking with the reactionary side of the brain !

    May 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. JBoxx

    I bet over half the signatures are bogus like everything else . By the way between the NRA GOA Oath-keepers that's about 9 mil right there By the way like everything else the President is involved with I enjoyed article on the OFA providing bus ,free lunch and cash for people to go protest for their cause Nice Job !!!!!

    May 7, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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