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Powerful TV ad from gun safety group pressures GOP members of Congress

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, domestic violence victims are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if there is a gun in the home.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   July 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM
WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Republican senators are once again feeling pressure after Everytown for Gun Safety released an ad in an attempt to rally support for a bill that would place gun restrictions on domestic abusers.

The group -- funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- is running the ad in New Hampshire, Arizona, Nevada and Washington D.C. Tuesday. The ad encourages viewers to call their respective legislatures --Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Dean Heller, R-Nev. -- to voice their support for Sen. Amy Klobuchar's, D-Minn., bill, which will have its first hearing Wednesday.

The bill would change current law, which only stops convicted domestic abusers from buying or owning a gun, to include convicted stalkers and broaden the law to include unmarried dating partners.

The ad features a panicked woman on the phone as her ex-partner yells at her through the door. The man kicks through the door, picks up her small son from the couch and as she tries to keep him from leaving, he pulls out a gun and shoots. A crying child can be heard as the final scene cuts to contact information on how to stop violence against women.

"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."

Ayotte, Flake and Heller voted against a bill last year that would have required criminal background checks on anyone attempting to purchase a gun. The bill failed with just 54 of the 60 votes required to pass. The senators who voted against the bill faced backlash from some of their constituents who supported the restrictions in the wake of the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings.

A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that two-thirds of Americans support the measures in the Klobuchar bill. It also shows substantial Republican support with 68 percent supporting prohibiting convicted stalkers from purchasing guns and 59 percent supporting the restrictions for abusing non-married partners.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), which is known for its attempts to block all gun-restrictive legislation, wrote a letter to senators in June claiming the new bill "manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as 'domestic violence' and 'stalking' simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions."

Everytown said it is going to continue to seek a Republican co-sponsor for the bill. The hearing comes in the last legislative week before Congress takes its August recess.

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