N.Y. mayor says he’d raise funds for anti-NRA effort

Bloomberg News / August 10, 2009

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NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would raise money for a national campaign to counter the political influence of the National Rifle Association, building on the recent defeat of federal legislation that would have eased prohibitions against carrying concealed weapons.

“You know, the NRA doesn’t spend that much money,’’ said Bloomberg during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press’’ program yesterday. “If you want to beat the NRA you have to go out and get your message out, and it costs money to do that.’’

NRA President Wayne LaPierre didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bloomberg has already contributed about $2.9 million to “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.’’ The organization of 450 city chiefs, founded in 2006 by Bloomberg and Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, lobbied to persuade the Senate to defeat a measure that would have allowed gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

Bloomberg said he has no quarrel with the US Constitution’s guarantee of the right to bear arms, and that the money would go to “explain to Congress’’ that federal law prohibits criminals from owning guns.