Some of the groups plan to use television and newspaper advertisements to paint laws restricting guns as a mainstream, common-sense idea. Some advocates have also stopped calling their efforts “gun control,” preferring “gun-violence prevention” instead.
One objective is to drive a wedge between the NRA’s policy agenda and the views of a majority of its members, activists said. Mayors Against Illegal Guns commissioned a study last year by Republican pollster Frank Luntz that found that 74 percent of NRA members support requiring criminal background checks for anyone purchasing a gun.
“This isn’t a battle about going dollar for dollar with the NRA,” said Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president at the Center for American Progress. “It’s about drawing attention to the fact that the NRA officials and lobbyists and the NRA membership are in completely different places. Exposing that gap is a critical component of that effort.”