Quick as a bullet, Snapchat users in Nevada may see an anti-gun control message flash across their screens for just moments before it disappears into the abyss during Tuesday’s Republican debate. The filter, paid for by the powerful gun lobbying group the National Rifle Association (NRA), sets its sights on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety organization.
“Hey Bloomberg!” the filter, which can be applied like any other filter in the app, reads, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. “Don’t NYC my Nevada gun rights.”
A gun control ballot initiative will be voted on in Nevada next November. The NRA, which announced its Snapchat channel last month, hopes to use all available tools to fight the initiative.
— ANIB (@AmberNiblock) December 15, 2015
Gun violence and gun control have been prominent topics of discussion recently as public awareness about the seemingly unending string of mass shootings has consumed news cycles — especially in aftermath of the San Bernardino, California, terror attacks Dec. 2, when two armed gunmen entered a holiday party and killed 14 and injured 22 others. Less than a week later, Democrats in the Senate – including Nevada’s own Sen. Harry Reid – moved to force votes on amendments that would make it harder for people on the federal no-fly list and people who have been convicted on charges associated with aggression toward abortion providers to buy guns.
The renewed effort to push gun control, which has been taken up by House Democrats as well, is an attempt to draw a clear contrast with Republicans ahead of the next election cycle.
The NRA is one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, D.C., and pumps millions of dollars every year into influencing federal policy and politics. The organization spent nearly $3.4 million in 2014 to lobby on a variety of gun-related bills taken up in Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The group also contributed $984,152 to mostly Republican federal candidates running for office during the last midterm.
Everytown for Gun Safety is much smaller, money-wise, but it is also much newer. The organization spent nearly $1.8 million lobbying the federal government in 2014 and put an emphasis on gun trafficking legislation, according to CRP. During the 2014 cycle – the first on its record -- the group donated just $297,500 to federal politics, mostly as so-called soft money that is contributed to a political party but not any particular candidate in order to avoid legal donor limits.