NEW YORK -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being cast by gun rights groups as the face of gun control and the top opponent of the second amendment.
Bloomberg, a Republican who helped the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition grow from a small group of 15 into an organization including 225 leaders of cities and towns across the country, was described by an article in a National Rifle Association publication as "a billionaire, Boston-grown evangelist for the nanny state," The New York Times reported Monday.
"Beholden to nothing except his own ambitions, the mayor has established himself as a kind of national gun-control vigilante," the article said.
Meanwhile, gun rights advocates in Virginia held the Bloomberg Gun Giveaway, a gun raffle held in protest of New York's stings against out-of-state gun dealers whose wares have been tied to gun crimes in the city.
Bloomberg has repeatedly stated that his aim is not to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens but to keep weapons away from criminals.
"We aren't interested in refighting an ideological battle," said Edward Skyler, the deputy mayor overseeing the gun effort. "The issues we have taken on are about crime and law enforcement, so that's the way the debate needs to be framed."
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