Mayors Against Illegal Guns paid a hefty price Sunday to air an advertisement during the Super Bowl that specifically targeted a Washington, D.C., audience.
The nonprofit, headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Tom Menino, paid $100,000 to run the spot on CBS affiliate WUSA-TV, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of documents filed by the station to comply with Federal Communications Commission requirements.
Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told the Center for Public Integrity that his organization targeted Washington's media market because "that's where the people who make decisions are."
The new ad featured a montage of children set to the song "America, the Beautiful," along with 1999 congressional testimony by Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's current executive vice president and CEO.
"The NRA once supported background checks," the child narrating the ad says, before a clip plays of LaPierre saying that "mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show" are "reasonable." The NRA has since reversed its stance on that proposal.
Ahead of last year's Super Bowl, when the New York Giants were pitted against the New England Patriots, Mayors Against Illegal Guns also sponsored an ad. That message featured Bloomberg and Menino touting their citie's NFL teams as well as the need for "common sense reforms" to "keep guns out of the hands of criminals."
Bloomberg and Menino launched Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2007, and the coalition now has more than 800 members, including mayors on both sides of the partisan divide.
Historically, the NRA has devoted significantly more resources to lobbying and political efforts than Mayors Against Illegal Guns or other gun control advocates.