Gun control battle goes prime time with Super Bowl ad

The ad, calling for mandatory background checks, uses footage of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre to make its case

By Katie McDonough

Published February 3, 2013 6:30PM (EST)


Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is slated to air a 30-second Super Bowl ad in the Washington, D.C., area.

The ad, calling for mandatory background checks on all gun sales, uses footage of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre to make its case.

"We think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show," LaPierre can be seen saying in May of 1999, only a month after the mass shooting at Columbine High School. "No loopholes anywhere for anyone."

LaPierre has since reversed course on background checks, calling them "an unworkable universal federal nightmare bureaucracy" while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

The ad will air during the third-quarter break of the Super Bowl, but is available online for those outside of the D.C. metro area.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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