Fortified by several million dollars in contributions since the Newtown school massacre, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the national coalition New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg co-founded and finances, says it has deployed more than 50 people across the U.S., building grass-roots organizations and dispatching foot soldiers to pressure local politicians, the New York Times reports.
In Washington State, where legislators defeated a Bloomberg-backed background-checks bill, the coalition is assisting with a ballot initiative on the same issue. In Oregon, the group has hired lobbyists to revive long-stalled legislation to regulate private gun sales. In Colorado, where the coalition helped pass stricter gun laws this year, it is preparing to defend lawmakers against a recall effort pushed by the National Rifle Association. Bloomberg faces an uphill battle. Many states he seeks to influence are places where guns are dear and New York is not. He is going up against well-organized networks of gun enthusiasts, with scores of rural voters eager to block his every move.