NY's Bloomberg predicts more gun checks

2013-03-24 19:04
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Louis Lanzano, AP)

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Louis Lanzano, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg predicted on Sunday that pressure from the American public would eventually force the US Congress to expand background checks for gun buyers, even though the measure faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.

As Bloomberg launched a $12m national advertising campaign aimed at prodding members of the Senate to support expanded background checks, he said the measure's widespread popularity would trump gun-rights groups like the powerful National Rifle Association that oppose it.

"If 90% of the public wants something and their representatives vote against that, common sense says they are going to have a price to pay for that," Bloomberg said on NBC's Meet the Press.

A top NRA executive predicted that the self-made billionaire' s efforts would change few minds. "He can't buy America," NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said on the same programme.

Lawmakers are scaling back President Barack Obama's ambitions for sweeping gun control measures, which took on a new urgency after the 14 December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six adults.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid effectively ruled out an assault weapons ban last week, and limits on high-capacity ammunition clips also are likely to fall short.

Gun-control advocates say a system of expanded background checks would be the single most effective way to reduce gun violence across the country. Opinion polls show that more than 90% of all American voters and 85% of gun owners support it.

While such a measure could pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, it faces long odds in the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold the majority.

"I don't think their bill will pass the Senate and even if it does it won't pass the House," Republican Senator Tom Coburn said on C-SPAN.

Law abiding citizen

The NRA argues that expanding existing background checks to cover the 40% of gun sales that are now exempt would only create more hurdles for law abiding citizens and do little to deter criminal purchases. The NRA instead wants the federal government to step up prosecutions under existing gun laws and boost security in schools.

Bloomberg acknowledged that a national ban on assault weapons is less popular with the public and is unlikely to succeed in Congress.

Several states, including New York, have passed assault-weapons bans of their own but others like Colorado, which tightened its gun laws recently, have not restricted the military-style rifles that are popular with gun owners.

"I think the feeling right now around assault weapons, at least in Colorado, is that it's so hard to define what an assault weapon is," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said on CNN's State of the Nation.

"There's a lot of questions whether the 10-year federal ban that existed made a difference," Hickenlooper said. "It's a tough sell."

Read more on:    michael bloomberg  |  us  |  gun control

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.