Under the Dome

National groups buy gun-control TV ads in NC

UPDATED

Two national gun-control groups launched a TV ad campaign in North Carolina on Tuesday, pushing for the defeat of a handgun bill in the state legislature.

Everytown for Gun Safety Action, backed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America have purchased air time at TV stations in the state through May 15, a spokesman said.

The spokesman declined to disclose how much money will be spent on the ads.

The organizations contend that the bill would allow people convicted of felonies, domestic abuse and others from evading background checks by buying guns from unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows.

House Bill 562 would expand the places where people with permits to carry concealed handguns could bring their weapons, include the state fairgrounds in Raleigh. It would also prohibit health-care providers from disclosing to government agencies if a patient says they lawfully have a weapon, unless the patient is mentally ill.

It would also loosen restrictions on prosecutors, hunters, and on possessing guns on school grounds.

Update: The bill has passed two House committees but was sitting immobile for a couple weeks until Tuesday afternoon, when it was announced that it would be taken up again in committee on Wednesday.

Update: Lars Dalseide, news media liason for the National Rifle Association, said the ad campaign was more of a publicity stunt than a substantial effort.

“All you’re seeing is Michael Bloomberg and his standard playbook of misdirection and half-truths butting in to North Carolina politics,” Dalseide said in an email to Dome on Tuesday. “What House Bill 562 really does is improve range protection laws, updates the concealed carry permit process, and takes advantage of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) utilized by the majority of other states.”

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