Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made a name for himself as a leader in the gun control movement. After all, he funds Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. Naturally, Bloomberg has decided to use his anti-Second Amendment stance to make himself a top tier in the 2020 Democratic field.
In an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg rehashed his stance on the Supreme Court case known as New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. New York City. At the time, NYC prohibited gun owners from transporting firearms outside of city limits, even if the resident was taking them to a gun range. Once the New York Rifle and Pistol Association, along with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF )challenged the city’s ordinance in a court of law, NYC decided to rescind the law. The city tried to get the lawsuit thrown out, saying the point is now moot because the ordinance no longer exists. Gun rights advocates, however, are worried the city will reimplement the law if the Supreme Court decides to throw out the case.
According to Bloomberg, pro-gun groups, like the NRA, are trying to thwart “public safety.” His solution is to “appoint judges who understand that the Second Amendment allows for common sense limits on gun ownership.”
The last major gun safety ruling by the Supreme Court, in 2008, affirmed that reasonable restrictions on gun possession are constitutional. But the NRA has not given up on its absolutist vision of the Second Amendment, which is inconsistent with American history, oblivious to public safety and out of step with the American people. The NRA opposes much-needed fixes to the gun-sale background check system — which are supported by 90% of Americans — as well as restrictions on gun possession for domestic abusers and stalkers.
Despite the NRA’s obstruction, America’s gun safety movement has successfully put hundreds of strong laws on the books in recent years. Last year alone, 20 states passed significant gun laws, thanks in large part to the grassroots army of Americans we have mobilized to stand up for the right to safety. And we have made progress not only in rallying Democrats, but in winning support from more Republicans. Last year, Illinois’ Bruce Rauner was one of five Republican governors who signed a “red flag” law that helps keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Those laws would be at risk if the Supreme Court issues a far-reaching opinion in the New York case.
As president, I will appoint judges who understand that the Second Amendment allows for common sense limits on gun ownership. I’ve spent 15 years working to build a national coalition that is capable of taking on the NRA and winning — and I’m glad to say that we now have the NRA on the ropes. That may be one reason why the NRA is hoping the court will save it.
The problem, however, is people like Bloomberg continually misrepresent the Second Amendment and facts surrounding gun control laws.
Bloomberg says the NRA opposes “much-needed fixes to the gun-sale background check system” yet the firearms industry is the one who heavily pushed the Fix NICS Act, which requires law enforcement agencies to submit criminal convictions to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which oversees the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In fact, a DOJ report last month showed that the law is having a profound impact. Six million convictions were added to NICS. The number of Firearm Retrieval Referrals (FRRs), where a prohibited possessor is able to purchase a firearm because the background check wasn’t completed in three business days due to incomplete records, decreased each month. Those additional convictions have an average monthly decline of 102 FFRs.
Bloomberg blames Republicans for red flag laws yet he fails to mention that these laws have no due process. And they’re already having a negative impact on gun owners. A man in Florida lost his Second Amendment rights because of mistaken identity. Not only were his firearms confiscated but he had to pay court fees in order to prove he wasn’t the person the cops were after.
Larry Keane at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms trade industry, said it best: “…anyone who is familiar with Bloomberg’s history of anti-gun actions and rhetoric should see these statements as a disingenuous attempt to sell himself as a moderate who wants only ‘commonsense gun reforms.’ In reality, Bloomberg’s opinion on firearms, and on those who own them, represent the antithesis to the right to bear arms.”
The former New York City mayor can attempt to play to the center as the guy who wants to make America’s streets safer but we see him for what he really is: someone who wants to disarm law-abiding gun owners. He can promise to appoint Second Amendment-hating judges. It just means he’ll have to fight twice as hard for the presidency. After all, gun owners aren’t afraid to make their voices heard, both on social media, at protests and at the ballot box.
Author: Beth Baumann