Case Study

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a bipartisan, nationwide coalition of more than 500 mayors who promote common-sense policies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other prohibited purchasers.

For more than a decade, efforts to curb gun violence have been stymied by polarized debate and reluctant politicians in both parties.  In just a few years, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has started to change that.  Led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, the mayors’ coalition has added a fresh, and uniquely credible, voice for laws that respect the Second Amendment while keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.  

Working with staff for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, our team has helped design and execute a lobbying strategy to promote reasonable gun laws before the Legislative and Executive Branches, identify new allies in Congress and among national advocacy organizations and focus elite media on the mayors’ efforts to reduce gun violence and support effective law enforcement.

We shared a signal achievement when we helped defeat the NRA in a congressional floor vote for the first time in nearly five years.  Together with coalition attorneys, we took on the so-called Thune Amendment, which would have undermined the ability of each state to set its own qualifications for permits to carry concealed weapons.  Under extreme time pressure, our combined teams successfully made our case with senators of both parties through email and phone campaigns, direct lobbying, identifying uniformed law enforcement allies in key states, media outreach and recruitment of influential allies, including domestic violence advocates.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns has also lead the fight to close the “gun show loophole” that too often allows prohibited purchasers to evade criminal background checks.  Working with our client, we helped execute a multi-phase campaign including direct lobbying, media pitching, television, print and radio ads and recruitment of third-party validators to persuade Democrats in Congress to close this gap in federal law.  

The Raben Group also works with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to build the coalition of groups supporting reasonable reform through outreach to the faith community, progressive advocacy organizations, law enforcement groups, and other stakeholders.


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