A gun-control group founded and backed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is asking all House and Senate candidates in the 2014 midterm elections to complete a 10-part survey on issues related to firearms.
The Washington Post reports that the survey will ask respondents questions about their stance on issues like background checks for gun buyers, limiting magazine capacity, and passing laws restricting gun trafficking. Bloomberg's group, Everytown for Gun Safety, will then use a particular candidate's answers, as well as an analysis of past votes and public statements to either support or campaign against a candidate.
The system is meant to emulate and counter the legislative ratings system of the National Rifle Association, which assigns lawmakers a letter grade based on their support of pro-gun rights legislation.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told the Post that Bloomberg's efforts made him "just the latest incarnation of a long line of anti-freedom billionaires who’ve tried to take on the National Rifle Association."
Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety group was formed out of the merger of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Bloomberg became one of the most prominent voices for gun control while still mayor of New York, and has vowed to more than double the NRA's spending on political campaigns in this midterm cycle. The Post that the NRA spends approximately $20 million per year on various campaigns and candidates.
John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety and a longtime Bloomberg policy adviser, told the paper that the group was targeting the 2014 midterms, but planned to remain active long after this election cycle.
"You don’t build a counterweight to the gun lobby overnight," Feinblatt said. "We’re in this for the long haul."