Bloomberg takes on NRA in new report

Working to ensure the topic of gun control doesn't fall by the wayside, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stepped up his campaign urging the federal government to address gun violence.

In addition to the release of a new national TV ad featuring family members of people murdered with guns urging Washington politicians to come up with a plan to reduce violence, the mayor released a scathing new report, called "Access Denied," on the gun lobby, specifically the National Rifle Association.

"This report describes the many ways in which the Washington gun lobby has kept the country in the dark about gun violence," the report reads.

The report says gives examples of the decreased federal government funding for research and prevention of gun violence. For instance, the report says the Center for Disease Control's budget on firearm injury prevention has decreased by 96 percent in the past two decades. It also says the Justice Department funded 32 studies on gun violence in the early 1990s but has funded no studies in the past four years.

The blame for a decrease in government funding and looser laws is cast on the NRA in the report. It details accounts of the NRA's effort to strip funding and weaken laws around guns, including a law that prevents military leaders from discussing personal gun ownership and its risks with troops.

"Now is the time for Congress to buck the special interests of the gun lobby that endanger our children," Bloomberg said in a statement.

The report comes on the one month anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., massacre, where 20 children and 7 adults were killed. Also today, Vice President Joe Biden, who led a task force on gun violence, gave his recommendations to President Obama on how to decrease gun violence. Those recommendations, which have not yet been publicly released, will be presented by the president later this week, Mr. Obama said today.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, is continuing to build his organization, Demand a Plan, by recruiting mayors and members from around the country. The new organization, which is financed largely by Bloomberg, boasts one million members. But that still pales in comparison to the more than four million National Rifle Association members and millions of dollars the gun lobby spends each year to restrict gun control.

In an interview on CNN Sunday, NRA president David Keene said, ""You don't want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress."

President Obama has already urged Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, limit the size of high-capacity magazines and expand background checks.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for