The gun safety group funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will air a dramatic television ad in three key states and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to pressure key Republican senators to support new gun restrictions for domestic abusers.
The 30-second ad by Everytown for Gun Safety features a man trying to break into his ex's house with a gun as she frantically calls the police. The man kicks the door in, grabs the woman's crying baby and points the gun at the woman's head. The gunshot can be heard as the video cuts out and directs viewers to text a number for information about stopping violence against women.
Everytown plans to run the ad in Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, Arizona and Nevada on Tuesday, the day before the Senate's first-ever hearing on guns and domestic abuse. The ads running in the three states will ask viewers to urge their respective senators -- Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) or Dean Heller (R-Nev.) -- to back Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-Minn.) bill that would ban convicted stalkers and abusive dating partners from possessing guns.
While those three senators voted against the popular background checks measure that fell short of 60 votes in the Senate last year, Everytown has calculated that if they had voted for it, they would have had the support of their constituents.
"These senators voted against the 90 percent of Americans who support criminal background checks on all gun sales," John Feinblatt, President of Everytown, told The Huffington Post. "The Klobuchar bill presents another opportunity for these representatives to get behind a common-sense public safety measure that will save women's lives."
Current federal law prevents people who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse from buying or possessing a gun. Klobuchar's bill would extend that prohibition to convicted stalkers and expand the definition of domestic violence under the law to include non-married dating partners. Two-thirds of U.S. voters support both provisions, according to a new poll by the Huffington Post and YouGov.
The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, strongly opposes Klobuchar's bill. The powerful gun lobby wrote a letter to senators in June urging them to vote against the legislation because it "manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as 'domestic violence' and 'stalking' simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions."
Despite the political challenges, Everytown has its sights set on attracting a Republican co-sponsor for the bill. One of the group's unlikely advocates, a conservative gun owner from northern Illinois, will testify at Wednesday's Senate hearing on behalf of the bill. His sister was shot and killed in 2012 by her estranged ex-husband, who had previously slashed her tires and threatened to pour acid on her.
"I am a constitutional conservative, an avid hunter and an NRA member, but I also believe in sensible gun laws," Elvin Daniel, 56, told The Huffington Post. "Obviously we can't bring her back, but what we can do is prevent other tragedies from happening to other women that have been abused."
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