Bloomberg unleashes $12M of gun control ads in 13 states

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference for gun control reform on March 21, 2013 in New York City.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

An aggressive new campaign for gun control is coming to 13 states this week, paid for by New York City's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg group to spend $12 million on ads pushing background checks

Bloomberg is spending $12 million of his own money on the ads put out by a coalition of mayors and they will air over the next two weeks while Congress is home on recess.

The ads come just before the Senate debates a gun control bill that includes universal background checks, which most gun advocacy groups oppose.

Bloomberg is hoping to sway moderate Democrats and Republicans who may face a political backlash if they don't support the checks.

The country's largest gun lobby, The National Rifle Association, which opposes universal background checks, doesn't see it that way, but they admit the current system doesn't work.

However, rather than universal background checks, it would prefer better reporting on the mentally ill and strengthening penalties on illegal sales.

Bloomberg, mayor group tout big gun control push

One thing the Bloomberg ads don't mention is an assault weapons ban on military-style weapons.

The Senate bill set for debate next month does not include an assault weapons ban. Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said the assault weapons ban didn't have enough votes.

There is also concern among gun control advocates that support for any new legislation is declining as the memory of the Newtown massacre fades. The president will campaign in coming weeks to make the case for some kind of action.