January 17th, 2013
06:18 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Bloomberg’s gun control fight

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at the forefront of the campaign for stricter gun legislation in America. Stirred by the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, he’s been increasingly vocal in demanding new federal gun control measures.

Tonight Anderson Cooper sits down with Bloomberg to get his reaction to the 23 executive actions signed by President Obama on Wednesday, and the gun legislation he sent to Capitol Hill.

Bloomberg has called for many of the White House proposals, including prohibiting the sale of the military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and addressing background checks.

He also suggested actions the president could take without Congressional approval, like appointing someone to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Before signing the executive actions yesterday, Obama announced he was nominating B. Todd Jones as head of the agency, and urged lawmakers to approve his pick saying “Congress hasn’t confirmed a director … in six years.”

Does Bloomberg think the president and vice president’s strategy will work? Is he confident Congress will deliver? In tonight’s interview he acknowledges that some changes will gain wide support faster than others. “There’s a general consensus in the country that background checks before you buy a gun should apply to everyone,” says Bloomberg. He sees the ban on assault weapons as a “tougher sell.”

Asked how he responds to opponents of tougher laws who say none of the proposals would have prevented the murders in Newtown, Connecticut, Bloomberg doesn’t disagree. “”That’s probably true... but that doesn’t mean having fewer guns around isn’t a better idea.”

Hear more tonight about his conversations with the Obama Administration, why he thinks the time is ripe for new laws, and the next steps in his fight to change gun policy.

Watch a preview and tune in at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on AC360.

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Filed under: Congress • Guns • NRA • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. tom

    Background checks are a good thing, so is proper safe keeping of firearms. Wonder about the whole mental health thing, and hope it won't be a series of witch trials.....we've seen this before in America.

    January 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  2. Bill Cunnane

    Bloomberg has been on his own personal witch hunt for years trying to take guns away from LEGAL citizens of this country. The NY laws banning guns goes way over the top. Taking guns away from the public is not going to prevent incidents like what happened in Ct nor will they lower the murder rate in our cities. Look at Chicago. Oh yeah the gun laws there really are doing the job...More persons killed with guns by illegal owners than those kill in the middle east. We need to keep our guns, educate our kids the responsible way of handling them and yes if needed put added security in our schools. If the guns are taken out of society then those looking to commit terror acts will simply turn to boms or other methods. Oh don't forget to take away the butter knives...God only knows how many will be killed with those in the near future Mr Bloomberg.

    January 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  3. Frank Ch. Eigler

    I wonder whether wishing to "[have] fewer guns around" includes Bloomberg's personal security detail – or personal handguns.

    January 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  4. Frank Ch. Eigler

    "[wouldn't have saved the Sandy Hook kids] but that doesn’t mean having fewer guns around isn’t a better idea"

    That rather depends on whether the guns were formerly in the hands of good guys or bad guys.

    January 17, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  5. Chronos Xaris

    What is needed is untie the hands of the ATF. Repeal the Tihart amendment.

    January 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  6. G_Edwards

    ”That’s probably true... but that doesn’t mean having fewer guns around isn’t a better idea.”

    At least he admits it's about limiting access to guns by law abiding rather than reducing or preventing the occurrences of these horrific events.


    January 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  7. jason

    I do believe the founding fathers are being wrongfully misinterpretted.

    Right to bear arms does NOT mean being able to legally OWN every type of gun ever created.

    They had muskets. 1-2 shots per minutes. We have mass killing machines capable of 100 times the shots.

    Ban assault rifles.

    January 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Russell Hohl

      The Founding Fathers wanted the citizens to have weapons EQUAL TO the weapons of King George and the Redcoats. If we were allowed the same weapons of war that the government has, we would be able to own tanks, F-18 Fighter planes, Predator drones, heavy machine guns, mortars, etc, etc. Does anyone think that one (or even ten people) with assault rifles could fight against an oppressive government? Of course not, our weapons are no where near what a police state could use against us, so you needed be concerned that we are a threat to the government. Let us have our semi-auto rifles and hi-cap magazines; we are no danger to you.

      January 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  8. PaulG

    Mayors for the Erosion of Civil Liberties advocating for gun control. Not everyone wants to live in Bloomberg's nanny state, nor do we need to.

    January 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Why do police need "military assault weapons" AR-15s while the people don't?

    January 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  10. Jimmie Russells

    One only need to look to California with its strict gun laws and 5th highest overall rate of gun violence in the nation to see how well gun control works. Thank you, Mr. Bloomberg.

    January 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm |