Bloomburg & MAIG spent $325,895 on lobbying in 2010– and failed!

Bloomberg Anti-Gun Group Spending A Clue On Microstamping’s Future

Hidden in the depths of NYPIRG’s report last week on the record-breaking $220 million spent on lobbying in 2011 is the following eyebrow-raising fact:

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization founded and funded by Mayor Bloomberg, dropped a whopping $325,895 on lobbying in 2010, ranking it 73rd on the list of top spenders in that year. But last year, the group spent absolutely nothing. And, according to records on file with JCOPE, it’s on track to spend $0 this year, too.

The group’s JCOPE filing indicates that it was registered to lobbying on two bills – one in the Assembly, the other in the Senate – both of would establish a microstamping law in New York, requiring bullet casings to have unique markings.

Supporters say this would help curb illegal guns and solve shooting-related crimes. Opponents, particularly the gun lobby, say the measure is both useless (in terms of crime-fighting) and cost-prohibitive (in terms of gun manufacturing).

This year’s filing lists no bills at all, though the microstamping issue is still – techincally speaking – alive, at least in the minds of the Senate Democrats. (The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jose Peralta).

So what gives? It’s not as if Bloomberg isn’t a major anti-illegal gun control advocate anymore. Just this week, he penned a scathing Daily News OpEd in the wake of yet another round of NYPD officer shootings that accused Washington of “cowering” before the gun lobby.

(I emailed this question to Bloomberg’s press office, and am still awaiting a reply).

The last time microstamping came up for a vote on the Senate floor was in 2010, when the Republicans – then gunning to take back the majority – defied Bloomberg (their largest individual donor) and, largely thanks to Sen. Marty Golden, didn’t pass the bill.

Perhaps Bloomberg saw the writing on the wall when Gov. Andrew Cuomo, without fanfare, debate or public notice, killed off a signature piece of former GOP Gov. George Pataki’s infamous 2000 gun control measure: – the so-called CoBis, or Combined Ballistics Identification System – in the 2012-13 budget.

CoBis has been described as the “big brother” to microstamping. It aimed to create a DNA database for handguns’ by requiring manufacturers of new semiautomatic pistols to file spent cartridge shells with the State Police. But law enforcement officials and gun advocates say CoBis never worked and was expensive to maintain. Hence, its quiet departure from the scene.

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