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Local Officials, Students Appear In Ads For Tighter Gun Control

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- You may have noticed a new series of TV ads promoting tougher gun control measures in Minnesota.

The ads feature Minnesota students, law enforcement officers, and a mother who owns a gun. They're trying to influence Minnesota lawmakers and voters.

The group Everytown for Gun Safety bought the ad time.

It's a nonprofit founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg with a $50 million donation.

The ads feature students and prominent law enforcement officials, such as Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, and Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serrier.

They are paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety, which is affiliated with the national network of Moms Demand Action groups, including the chapter here.

The Minnesota chapter has organized protests demanding legislators expand background checks to include private gun sales. Erin Zamoff is the chapter leader for Minnesota Mom's Demand Action.

"Nine out of 10 Minnesotans support background checks," she said. "So this is just really reflective of the vast majority of Minnesotans and these are all Minnesotans in these ads."

But gun rights advocates insist their side is mobilized too, and they point to a rally at the end of last month that attracted 2,000 people to the State Capitol.

"Once you get into greater Minnesota, there is far less support for these gun control measures," said Rob Doar, the political director of the Minnesota Gun Owner's Caucus.

The ad campaign comes as the national debate on gun rights versus gun control escalates in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead.

On Wednesday, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, David Hogg, tweeted a graphic showing the percentage of young voters in key Minnesota districts.


With only one-and-a-half weeks left in the legislative session, it appears highly unlikely that these ads will impact legislation at the Capitol in terms of passing new gun control measures.

However, what remains uncertain is the impact these ads will have on the November election.

Minnesota's legislative session ends May 21.

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