Dollars start pouring in for Minnesota gun debate

MINNEAPOLIS – Lawmakers returning to the State Capitol for the start of the 2020 legislative session on Tuesday will encounter what has become an Opening Day ritual. Hundreds of activists calling for new gun regulations will be decked out in color-coded attire. But with background check legislation and other gun safety measures stymied by opposition in the GOP-led Senate, the focus of this year’s debate will be as much on November’s elections as it is on passing significant new state restrictions on firearms. Enter the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which is rolling out a $250,000 digital blitz to pressure Minnesota state senators on gun control legislation through ads targeting voters in their districts around the state. The group intends to focus on suburban and black women voters – two demographic segments seen as critical to winning back control of the state Senate this year. The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus also is ramping up efforts, urging supporters to help raise $50,000 this month, money that can be used to protect pro-gun lawmakers in tough races. On the gun control side, the Everytown for Gun Safety organization, backed by Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, is planning to spend $60 million nationwide in 2020 – double its investment during the 2018 midterm elections. The surge in spending underscores the growth of gun control advocacy in an age of mass shootings. It also comes as the National Rifle Association – the gun industry’s main lobbying group – remains embroiled in internal […]

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