Mayors Against Illegal Guns to Air Super Bowl Ad Calling for Background Checks on All Gun Sales
Feb 02, 2013
Just days after National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Washington gun lobby no longer supports background checks for all gun sales, Mayors Against Illegal Guns will air a thirty second ad during the Super Bowl highlighting how the gun lobby has changed its position despite support for this common-sense reform from more than 80 percent of gun owners and more than 90 percent of Americans. The ad contrasts LaPierre’s statement this week with footage from LaPierre testifying before Congress in 1999 when he said that the NRA supported, “No loopholes anywhere. For anyone.” The ad can be viewed at: www.demandaplan.org/superbowl.
“Once again, the NRA’s Washington leadership showed just how out of step they are with the American public – and their own membership,” said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Closing the gaping wide loophole that allows criminals to get their hands on guns is a no brainer. It’s like we’ve set up two lines at the airport – one where you have to go through security and one where you don’t. Which do you think a criminal will choose?”
“Background checks are the best way to stop dangerous people from getting their hands on guns – that is why they have overwhelming support from Americans and even gun owners,” said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “The only people who don't agree are the leaders of the National Rifle Association. We can’t let them get in the way of this sensible reform – and that’s why we’re demanding that Congress take action and pass a background check bill that will make our neighborhoods safer.”
Thirty-three people are murdered with guns every day in the United States and around 40 percent of gun transfers happen without a criminal background check. Background checks are the only systematic way to stop felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people from buying guns. However, federal law currently only requires background checks for gun sales at licensed dealers. Almost 6.6 million guns are transferred each year in the U.S. by unlicensed ‘private sellers,’ including online and at gun shows, without the recipient having to pass a background check under federal law.
Requiring a criminal background check for every gun sale is strongly supported by law enforcement officials, the American public and a significant majority of gun owners, including NRA members. Polling by Republican Frank Luntz for Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 82 percent of gun owners – including 74 percent of National Rifle Association members – support requiring criminal background checks for anyone purchasing a gun.
In the last decade, the instantaneous gun background check system has checked over 160 million buyers and blockednearly two million felons and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns. In 2011 alone, the FBI identified and denied gun sales to more than 78,000 prohibited buyers.
States that have closed the private sale loophole have seen the result: strong gun laws work. According to a 2009 Johns Hopkins analysis of gun trafficking in 53 U.S. cities, intrastate gun trafficking is 48 percentlower in states where the private sale loophole has been closed. In addition, the number of women killed with a firearm by an intimate partner is 38 percent lower in states that have closed the loophole than in states that do not regulate such sales.
In Missouri, repealing the purchase permit requirements (which effectively closed the private sale loophole) increased the share of crime guns bought in-state. In the six years before the purchase permit requirement was repealed, around 55 percent of guns recovered at Missouri crime scenes originated in the state. In the three years after the purchase permit requirement was repealed, the share increased to over 70 percent. The share of guns recovered at crime scenes within two years of their first purchase — an indicator of gun trafficking — doubled.
The ad will air on CBS, the network broadcasting the Super Bowl, in the Washington DC market in the third-quarter break coming out of halftime.