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Mayors Against Illegal Guns To Air Ads During Congressional Recess In Ohio Demanding Senator Rob Portman Take Action To Reduce Gun Violence

Ads Part of National Campaign Calling on Political Leaders to Support Commonsense Reforms; Polls Show Overwhelming National Support for Background Checks

Coalition Also Organizing National Day to Demand Action on Thursday, March 28 with More than 100 Events Across the Country; www.DemandAction.org

NEW YORK, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayors Against Illegal Guns today announced that ads will begin to air in Ohio today demanding that Senator Rob Portman take action to pass commonsense gun reforms. Ads will air in key states during the upcoming Congressional recess and can be found here: www.demandaction.org/recessads

"These ads bring the voices of Americans – who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks – into the discussion to move Senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.  "We demanded a plan and we got one.  We demanded a vote and we'll get one.  Now we're doing what we can to pass a bill that will save lives."

"While they are home for this recess, members of Congress will hear directly from their constituents who support sensible gun law reforms like expanded background checks," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "The legislation is on the table – it's time for our leaders in Washington to act."  

"Background checks have been proven to be effective in keeping guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves and others," said Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman. "Homicides and suicides are lower in those states that require background checks for all handgun purchases. By extending background checks to all gun sales, Congress can literally save lives."

"My son is one of thousands of gun violence victims, each with their own story and family devastated by their murder," said gun violence survivor and Ohioan Gonnie Goins.  "We can't continue doing nothing while 33 Americans are murdered every day with guns. I demand action from Congress to reduce gun violence."

The ad airing in Ohio, "Responsible," features a gun owner who understands that supporting background checks goes hand in hand with defending the Second Amendment – and his family.  The $12 million ad buy will air spots in the following states – represented by both Democrats and Republicans – where they can most influence the upcoming Senate vote: 

  • Arizona – Senator Jeff Flake (R)
  • Arkansas – Senator Mark Pryor (D)
  • Georgia – Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R)
  • Indiana – Senator Joe Donnelly (D) and Senator Dan Coats (R)
  • Iowa – Senator Chuck Grassley (R)
  • Louisiana – Senator Mary Landrieu (D)
  • Maine – Senator Susan Collins (R)
  • New Hampshire – Senator Kelly Ayotte (R)
  • Nevada – Senator Dean Heller (R)
  • North Carolina – Senator Kay Hagan (D)
  • North Dakota – Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D)
  • Ohio – Senator Rob Portman (R)
  • Pennsylvania – Senator Pat Toomey (R)

The ads also precede the coalition's plans for more than 100 events across the country on Thursday, March 28 as part of its National Day to Demand Action.  Grassroots supporters of Mayors Against Illegal Guns will organize events and petition drives and generate an unprecedented number of calls into Senate district offices to call for their representatives to support commonsense gun laws like expanded background checks.  The day is expected to be the largest gun violence advocacy event in history and is part of the largest field campaign in U.S. history to address gun violence.  The coalition recently announced that it is hiring organizers and opening campaign offices in ten key states. 

Around 40 percent of U.S. gun transfers are conducted by unlicensed "private sellers" who are not required to conduct a federal check,[1] and who often do business at gun shows and on the Internet – indicating that about 6.6 million guns are transferred in the U.S. every year with no background check for the buyer.[2] This loophole allows dangerous people who are prohibited from buying guns – including felons, domestic abusers and the seriously mentally ill – to avoid a background check by simply avoiding licensed dealers.

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