Other organizations active in the effort include liberal interest groups, labor unions and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is led and financed by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a political independent.
A new political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions, was launched this week by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and has picked up seven-figure donations from major Democratic benefactors.
Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, and Ron Conway, a leading Silicon Valley angel investor, are helping finance the Giffords group and are co-hosting a fundraiser in San Francisco later this week, an organizer said. Two wealthy Texas lawyers, Steve and Amber Mostyn, told news outlets Wednesday that they had given $1 million to the organization. Giffords was shot in the head two years ago in a mass shooting outside a supermarket in Tucson.
“The real challenge that these organizations will have is how much money will they be able to raise in order to effectively communicate their side of the story,” said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist and former top congressional aide. “Those who are in favor of keeping the status quo have massive resources that can do the same thing.”
While groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence have long lobbied for stricter gun laws, last month’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has spurred many progressive organizations, millionaire donors and other activists to begin focusing on the issue.
An administration working group led by Vice President Joe Biden is preparing a set of gun-control proposals that could be announced by the end of this month, perhaps as part of Obama’s State of the Union address. Lawmakers say Congress could begin considering gun bills in two weeks.
Biden, after a meeting Wednesday with victims of gun violence and leaders of gun-safety organizations,vowed that the administration will take swift action.