Bloomberg gun group gives candidates litmus test
July 6th, 2014
11:41 PM ET
9 years ago

Bloomberg gun group gives candidates litmus test

Updated 2:23 p.m. ET, 7/7/2014

Washington (CNN) – The group formed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to pressure political candidates to come out publicly in support of some gun control measures.

Everytown for Gun Safety on Monday released a questionnaire it’s sending to candidates as it decides which ones to support in this year's midterm elections.

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This questionnaire and the hiring of field staff in more than a dozen key states are the result of Bloomberg’s pledge in April to spend $50 million this election year to help support candidates who will back further gun control efforts and to combat the politically powerful National Rifle Association.

Among the issues his group will ask candidates about include one of its priorities: closing the so-called gun show loophole where not everyone who buys a gun at a show must undergo a background check.

Other issues it asks about include tightening possession restrictions on domestic abusers, prosecuting gun traffickers and preventing access by children to guns, according to a copy of the questionnaire.

“Now it is time for political candidates to tell us where they stand,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, told reporters Monday on a conference call.

“For too long candidates only heard from the gun lobby.”

As it decides whether to endorse candidates, the NRA gives them letter grades based on a private survey as well as their records. Group officials told CNN they believe history has shown loyalty is not just based on how much money is spent trying to build loyalty.

“The power of the NRA does not come from the questionnaires we send to people who are running,” spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.

“The power of the NRA comes from our 5 million plus dues paying members.”

It is expected that by early fall the NRA will have made all of its mid-term endorsements.

As a political force, Everytown is trying to match the success seen by the NRA.

Everytown officials acknowledge gun control advocates need to do a better job of mobilizing their supporters and say this year’s election will begin to show whether they can succeed.

This year will be the “first chance… not (the) last chance,” senior adviser Mitch Stewart told reporters.

Stewart is a veteran of the Obama 2008 and 2012 campaigns. He said this effort will be data and metrics-driven, similar to what he oversaw in those campaigns. To help bolster its ranks of volunteers, help identify and communicate with voters who are supporters and to help mobilize their turnout at the polls, Everytown is hiring field staff in more than a dozen politically key states, including Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Group officials said the questionnaire is part one of their Gun Sense Voter Campaign, which is trying to mobilize one million Americans to vote in the midterms for those candidates who pledge to support gun safety measures. They say so far more than 650,000 have signed.

While polls have shown a majority of Americans support stricter background checks, the Senate last year failed to pass that as well as other measures despite the emotional fallout from the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting and a strong push for the measures from the White House.

Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Michael Bloomberg • New York • NRA • Political
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. DMG2FUN

    "closing the so-called gun show loophole"
    The so called gun show loophole the gun haters agreed too. If the gun haters did not like the so-called gun show loophole. Why did they pass the law that allows it?

    July 7, 2014 12:25 am at 12:25 am |

    Yea they all want t00 think for you it will be alri te skeep tight . kiss

    July 7, 2014 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  3. Zondar

    I find it interesting that the anti-gun side uses the phrase "common sense" – to insinuate that anyone who doesn't agree with their viewpoint must not have common sense.

    July 7, 2014 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  4. WhataTwit

    And while you are not buying guns, also don't buy a large soda. We would prefer that you purchase two smaller ones.

    July 7, 2014 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  5. Jay

    I will support common sense gun control when someone actually proposes some legislation that will make a difference. Of course, that hasn't happened yet and isn't likely any time soon as control still seems fixated on the people who aren't actually committing the crimes with them.

    July 7, 2014 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  6. bob

    Common sense gun laws? Like, give me an aspirin. Countries in which commons sense prevails have had strict gun-control laws since the nineteenth century. We were probably closer to joining the civilized world when Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday were trying to put an end to daily gunfights and shootouts in the old West than we are today.
    We now accept them as easily as we do traffic deaths, poverty, race and sex discrimination, ignorance and political corruption. And according to the NRA, Americans can never be free of government oppression unless they all carry guns and use them on anyone they feel threatened by, even if they are not members of our tyrannical government. So let's not hear any more talk about common-sense gun laws. Better Bloomberg should be lobbying for tax deductions for people who buy bulletproof attire for their families, bulletproof glass for their windows, and home school their children to keep them out of harm's way. The guns and the killings are now as much a part of American culture as country-western music, the pick-up truck and the rejection of science. The voters want them, Congress wants them, the Constitution guarantees them and the Supreme Court will not allow anyone to bring commons sense to bear on the matter.

    July 7, 2014 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  7. whta

    LOL these soccer moms and every town people think they are "grassroots". But it turns out to just be the work of an old rich guy. Pathetic.

    July 7, 2014 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  8. Anonymous

    A gun free America would be so nice, but with so many idiots out there with so many guns it will never happen.

    July 7, 2014 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  9. mountainlady5281

    Finally.....a voice for sanity. The NRA has been vetting and supporting candidates for years based on their position on gun regulation. Until Mayor Bloomberg's funding, there has been no voice for the majority of Americans who do not own guns and are tired of gun owner bullies. Now we have a chance to move America away from the gun toting extremist image the rest of the world has of us and toward a 21st century America.

    July 7, 2014 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  10. Jim

    I had to use my hand gun today to scare off a brown bear that was attacking a woman with her two year old son. What would have happened if AK. had gun control?

    July 7, 2014 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  11. MMECitizen

    In other words, if you are an NRA member or a person who agrees with the 2nd amendment Bloomberg will set his goons on you if you run for office. Democrat intimidation ...par for the course. "If you are not in lock step with us we will destroy you." Why not let Americans chose their own candidates without the intimidation of the far left and the far right.

    July 7, 2014 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  12. Steve

    I'd tell 'em, conniving crooks that they are, to get stuffed. And I will vote against anyone who fills out their 'questionnaire'.

    July 7, 2014 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  13. Thomas

    Guns and tobacco are as American as Apple Pie .

    First they take away your right to a BIG GULP , the next thing will be your right to an Uzi 9mm with a 50 round clip !

    July 7, 2014 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    -be very strict on these guns, laws. I think we need a total gun-ban laws. This second Amendment is a total farce, needs to be taken away. It is bribed one. Remove it forthwith. Another Obama needs to be awaken.

    July 7, 2014 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  15. Kingregis

    A step in the right direction. Let's face it; gun supporters are backwards low iq miscreants who only think of themselves. They have sold out America, and need to be weeded out of office.

    July 7, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    Bloomberg is anti Constitution.........and anti American.

    July 7, 2014 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  17. janklow

    the "gun show loophole" remains at best a misstated concern and at worst an outright lie.
    Bloomberg's involvement makes me believe the latter.

    July 7, 2014 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  18. Tom l

    Hilarious. Purity test alert!

    July 7, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  19. rla

    Another liberal/progressive who thinks they are GOD! Sorry this country works best when it is ruled from the bottom up not the top down

    July 7, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  20. Steve, New York City

    Nice one, Bloomie - I hope that this makes a difference.

    Unfortunately, the NRA would rather convince stupid, paranoid people that the criminally insane's gun rights ALWAYS trump general public safety in the USA, even if little children are involved. The US Congress is controlled by criminals, such as the NRA.

    July 7, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    How is it that the vast majority of Americans, over 90% in some polls, can want stronger background checks, and yet our politicians in the Congress cannot seem to get it done? One political party is dead set against. Our federal government is broken, and some people seem to want it that way, just to prove their point that government is the problem. I don't like the government, either, but I think that it's worth saving. The alternative is complete anarchy.

    Reagan once said that government is the problem. He was wrong. Government isn't the problem. Government is the symptom of the problem. The politicians aren't the problem, either. Politicians are just another symptom of the real problem. The real problem is that government is no longer for the people because it isn't run by the people. Government is run by the money from special interests, special interests like the NRA. There is no better example of the problem with government than the question of guns and the 2nd Amendment.

    What began as organization of private enthusiasts, the NRA has turned into the marketing arm of the gun industry. Nothing illustrates this fact more than the people running the NRA, their executive board. Every member of the board is either an owner or a top executive of a gun or ammunition manufacturer, all of them. There's not one average gun enthusiast among them, not a one.

    The NRA's mission has become the mission of its' board members, which is to sell more and more hardware. They're running out of people to sell it to. It's estimated that 37% of U.S. households own at least one gun out of the estimated 300 million in this country that are in private hands. People are stocking up because they are fearful. Fearful of imagined enemies, laws, and home intrusion scenarios. It they looked at the facts, then they would quickly realize that gun ownership means that they are twenty times more likely to be shot and killed than households who don't own a gun. They would see that nearly 2/3 deaths due to gun violence are self inflicted wounds. They would see that more times than not that people are being shot by someone they know, usually a family member. They would see that mental health isn't the problem as much as the fact that we allow those with mental health issues to obtain guns and don't hold anyone responsible for furnishing them with a gun when they commit mass murders.

    July 7, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  22. S.B. Stein

    I don't know why there is this disconnect. Civilians shouldn't have more than 10 rounds in a clip. Only the police and military should have larger magazines. How many hunters really need to fire 20 rounds? Or armor piercing rounds either for that matter...

    On the other side of the question in a way, I'd like Congress to reformulate the requirements to get someone convicted of the current guns laws easier than we currently have. If that was the case, then there would be more people either in jail or not using guns.

    July 7, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. smith

    CNN has already done an investigation into one of Bloomberg`s group and found they put out false statistics regarding school shootings. These groups have a history of cherrypicking stats and putting out red herrings to further their political agenda. The fact is gun violence has been on the decline since the 90`s and there are more guns now than back then. Do your own research before taking the word of some anti-gun group or goof on the street.

    July 7, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. tom l

    So this guy is trying to buy an election and has a "purity test" yet the gang will be in full support of this because, well, it's their side so obviously it is good and wonderful in their eyes.

    July 7, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. rs

    LOL these soccer moms and every town people think they are "grassroots". But it turns out to just be the work of an old rich guy. Pathetic.
    Kind of like the TEA Party or the gun nuts, eh?

    July 7, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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