Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group is threatening to spend more than $25 million in 2018 races, Politico reports. Everytown for Gun Safety, funded by the billionaire former New York City mayor, is hiring new top staffers and turning much of its attention to state legislatures, while moving to a defensive posture in Washington as it tries to stop “concealed carry reciprocity” from becoming law. That measure would loosen gun laws significantly by holding gun owners to the laws of their own state when carrying their weapons in other states, no matter how different the laws are in, for example, Texas versus New York. The measure is supported by the National Rifle Association, and President Trump supports it.
Everytown touts its significant spending last year in New Hampshire, where former Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte lost narrowly, as a warning to senators up next year and 2020. The group targeted her for voting against background checks in 2013. “This is a line in the sand on this issue, there’s no question about it. The NRA wants to normalize carrying guns in public. It’s not where the American public is,” said Everytown president John Feinblatt. Last year, Bloomberg spent $25 million on Senate races and four state ballot measures on gun control, three of which passed. Brynne Craig, Hillary Clinton’s deputy director of state campaigns, is joining as Everytown, as is Kirk Fordham, a former GOP congressional staffer and director of the LGBT advocacy group Gill Action Fund, and Matt McTighe, former director of another LGBT group. Americans for Responsible for Solutions, founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, is also prioritizing the fight against legalizing concealed carry reciprocity.