WASHINGTON – Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun control group led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is launching a television ad today thanking Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey for his work sponsoring a bipartisan bill to expand background checks.
The ad, which will run in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, opens with this voice over: “Washington likes to argue. Senator Pat Toomey wants to get things done.”
It credits Toomey, a Republican, with “leading the fight to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
“Courage and common sense – that’s Pat Toomey,” the spot concludes. “Tell him to keep fighting for background checks.”
Toomey’s poll numbers have jumped in the weeks since he crossed party lines to back a bill expanding background checks, but he has repeatedly said he is moving on to other issues, primarily fiscal concerns, even as some Democrats work to try revive plans to add new gun regulations.
Groups such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Americans for Responsible Solutions – led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D., Ariz.) – have formed to try to counter to the political might of the National Rifle Association and other organizations that fight for gun owners’ rights.
The gun control groups (or gun safety, as they dub themselves) have tried to pressure lawmakers to vote in favor of tougher background checks, but have also stressed the need to support to those who are willing to break party ranks to vote in favor of new gun laws.
"Americans want elected officials that have the courage and independence to stand up for common sense legislation, even when special interests oppose it – as Senator Toomey did when he co-sponsored gun safety legislation with Senator (Joe) Manchin,” said a statement from Bloomberg, co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “We need more leaders who are willing to reach across the aisle and find common ground, so that we can keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill and reduce the gun violence that results in 33 murders every day in our country."