NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster is taking part in a multimillion dollar ad campaign launched by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to fight for tighter gun control laws across the nation.
As the gun control debate rages on, those fighting for stricter regulations seem to be backing off a proposed assault weapons ban, and instead shooting for "universal background checks" requiring background checks for private sales and firearms bought at gun shows.
Bloomberg is asking voters across the country to voice their support before the U.S. Senate takes up the issue next month. Bloomberg is personally paying $12 million to air ads in 13 states with mixed public opinion on gun control, including nearby Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Mayor Dyster is on Bloomberg's side and appears briefly in the ads. "I think it's important for those of us who are from small cities in places that do have strong hunting and sporting traditions to also take a stand," Dyster said.
Dyster has a very small part in a video featuring mayors from across the country.
"I count myself a gun guy. But I think gun guys need to be in the forefront of trying to deal with gun violence in the US," Dyster said.
The National Rifle Association is blasting Bloomberg's personal investment in the ads. Dyster says it's only fair the NRA isn't the only group spending money on gun issues.
As for whether the ads will work, gun rights advocates are skeptical.
"I think Mayor Bloomberg should just stay in New York City," Carl Paladino said.
U.S. Senators will cast their votes on the issue next month.
Buffalo Mayor Byron brown did not appear in the video featuring all the mayors but he is listed as a member of Bloomberg's group "Mayors Against Illegal Guns".
You can watch one of the ads Bloomberg created below:
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