New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control fight did the movement more harm than good, says Sen. Patrick Leahy.
"He actually turned off some people that we might have gotten for supporters," the Vermont Democrat told C-SPAN's "Newsmakers Sunday."
Leahy isn't the only one who thinks Bloomberg's Mayors against Illegal Guns was harmful to the gun control effort.
New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer criticized the effort, saying the advertising being sponsored by Bloomberg was "not going to be effective in the debate," reports The National Review.
The group kicked off its national anti-gun campaign
on June 14, the six-month anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., shootings that left 20 schoolchildren and six educators dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
The group left June 14 from Newtown for a 25-state bus tour to help raise support for enacting tougher background-check laws for gun buyers.
The group planned events in 10 states — including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — to pressure senators who voted against the bipartisan background-check bill in April to reconsider their stance.
Bloomberg spent $12 million of his own money to lead the group and buy advertising — money that Leahy, a long-time gun owner, said "actually turned off some people that we might have gotten for supporters for background legislation," reports The New York Daily News.
Leahy ruled out the Senate passing a background-check bill anytime soon, saying that "it is not going to get through now" and blamed "the far right" for holding up such measures.
Gun-rights supporters believe "the Second Amendment allows us to have anything," Leahy said. "I mean, you can take a machine gun to [go] deer hunting. There needs to be a balance between the two."
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