Gun control politicians just can’t seem to wean themselves off their addiction to Bloomberg money.
Everytown for Gun Safety, which is funded by antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, announced it will spend $13 million to flip federal and state level election seats currently held by pro-Second Amendment policymakers in Texas and Arizona. Brady Campaign’s Brady PAC announced it will sink funds into the effort, at a half a million dollars.
It’s Bloomberg’s continued effort to campaign to bring the New York-style gun control agenda he adores to every state. He did it in Virginia and he’s looking to repeat. If gun control isn’t passed, he’ll just buy the legislatures.
Bloomberg is only living up to his word. He admitted as much during a presidential townhall, that he bought congressional seats in 2018. The failed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate has demonstrated his hypocrisy on Second Amendment rights and who deserves them. Voters demonstrably rejected him, but he’s not going away.
Bloomberg and his pet project gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action pledged to spend millions to help ensure former Vice President Joe Biden leads the most antigun presidential ticket in history, hoping to flip state legislatures along the way.
Shiny Lone Star
Voters in the Lone Star state heard an earful of the Bloomberg groups’ antigun narrative before and roundly rejected it. Texans approve of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and another popular statewide elected, Attorney General Ken Paxton, when they came through for thousands of Texas small businesses and employees.
Gov. Abbott deemed firearm retailers “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing them to stay open for business. AG Paxton prevented counties and cities from enacting their own restrictions on gun stores.
Don’t forget former Texas U.S. Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) disastrous failures running for the U.S. Senate in 2018 on a gun confiscation platform against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). He crashed and burned only to turn his efforts to the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. His gun-grabbing pronouncements fell flat nationally, but impressed presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Flipping the Lone Star state will be a tall order for Bloomberg and his buddies.
Arizona Closer, And President Trump Helps Gun Owners
Also on Everytown’s radar is Arizona, where the group has earmarked $5 million. The Republican-controlled state legislatures are both closer in margins than Texas, with pro-Second Amendment legislators holding a two-seat advantage in the state House of Representatives and a four-seat advantage in the state Senate.
Signs point to a tough reelection ahead for Republican U.S. Sen Martha McSally against Democratic challenger Mark Kelly, husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), co-Founder of Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, another gun control group.
Voters will undoubtedly be fired up and President Donald J. Trump carried the Grand Canyon state by four points in 2016. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey isn’t on the ballot, remaining in office past November in case a veto check is needed.
Trying to Pull a 2019 Virginia
The gun control groups are trying to replicate the playbook from Virginia last year, where the off-year elections swung the Commonwealth’s legislature to Democrat majorities for the first time in two decades. Bloomberg dumped $2.5 million in that effort.
The result was a wave of gun control policies signed by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. But positive signs showed for pro-Second Amendment voters for elections ahead as tens of thousands of lawful gun owners peacefully protested the legislature’s overreach at the capitol in Richmond. Courts ruled Gov. Northam overstepped his authority by closing some firearm businesses.
No one knows how 2020 will shake out with former Vice President Joe Biden likely leading the most antigun ticket in history. But Virginia’s 2019 elections did not see President Trump on the ballot and he’s been a staunch Second Amendment supporter and stood by firearm retailers and workers throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He will be a loud supportive voice ahead.
One thing’s certain, voters are tuning in and hundreds of thousands are now first-time firearm owners. NSSF launched the #GUNVOTE online resource so voters know exactly where candidates stand on firearm issues and what they’ve said in the past. It’s a valuable resource for Americans to make sure they don’t risk their rights at the ballot box.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.