With $50M, Bloomberg Founds His Own Anti-Gun Lobby

By Susan Jones | April 16, 2014 | 9:07 AM EDT

Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks in New York in December 2013. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

(CNSNews.com) - Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday is launching yet another effort to "end gun violence and counter the Washington gun lobby," as the news release put it.

He's spending $50 million of his own money on a new group called "Everytown for Gun Safety," which is modeled after its nemesis, the National Rifle Association.

Among other things, the group is demanding universal background checks -- the first step toward a national gun registry -- and "enhanced protections" for victims of domestic violence."

(Federal law already bars gun ownership by people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, but gun-control advocates want to expand the definition of domestic violence to include non-physical acts, such as pushing or grabbing.)

"Everytown will ask Americans to join the fight to reduce the gun violence that kills 86 Americans every day and affects every town – big cities and small towns alike," the news release said. "This means continuing to press for change in Washington and moving beyond Congress to bring the fight for common-sense gun policies to state capitols, corporate boards, and state and federal elections – fields of play formerly occupied almost solely by the gun lobby."

The group formally launches on Wednesday with a conference call, a video, and kick-off events in Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; St. Petersburg, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Concord, New Hampshire; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington.

At those events, Everytown will launch a ‘Gun Sense Voter’ campaign that aims to get one million Americans to vote on gun control issues. The group’s advocacy arm will issue candidate questionnaires and candidate scorecards to guide its supporters' votes in November.

“This is the beginning of a major new campaign to reduce the gun violence that plagues communities across the country,” said Bloomberg, Everytown's chairman.

“There is no question that more needs to be done to tackle this deadly problem, and that’s why more than 1.5 million Americans, nearly 1000 mayors and moms in all 50 states have already come together to fight for common-sense reform that will respect rights and save lives. This new organization will bring more people into the fight against gun violence, which affects every town in America.”

Everytown aims to grow its ranks to 2.5 million supporters this year, by addressing the ways that gun violence touches Americans, including child access to guns, domestic violence, guns on campus and suicide.

The new group will absorb Mayors Against Illegal Guns, co-founded by Bloomberg in 2006, and a Newtown-inspired group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Speaking to The New York Times about his new group, Bloomberg said, "You’ve got to work at it piece by piece,” he said. “One mom and another mom. You’ve got to wear them down until they finally say, ‘Enough.’"