The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

NRA marshals forces against gun bill

As the Senate begins votes today on a package of gun control legislation, the National Rifle Association is flooding congressional offices with calls and emails and is launching a $500,000 internet ad buy to oppose legislation backed by President Obama, Democratic senators and a handful of Republicans.

"President Obama and anti-gun ringleaders in Congress and the national media are waging all-out war on our gun rights, " said an alert sent Tuesday night to NRA members, urging them to sign petitions and contract congressional offices. In addition, the Web ad -- running on the Drudge Report, the Washington Post and other Web sites -- argues that the gun legislation backed by Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will have no effect on crime.

Advocates for the legislation were also marshaling forces Tuesday night and Wednesday.

"I am still hopeful but there are more "no" votes than there should be," said Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a Democrat who is co-sponsoring an amendment to limit large-size magazine clips, which is expected to fail. He said that he is continuing to talk to his colleagues and that Newtown families were still in town and lobbying members of the Senate and their staff.

"The visits from the families are very powerful," he said.