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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

March 24, 2013 | 3 min read

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a $12 million ad campaign will be launched by Mayors Against Illegal Guns .

The television ad campaign will aim to push senators in key states to back gun control efforts, including comprehensive background checks. Two ads have already been posted on the group's website, entitled "Responsible" and "Family."

Bloomberg said in a statement: "These ads bring the voices of Americans – who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks – into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence."

The commercials don't mention a ban on assault weapons, although the mayor would dearly like this. Instead his main target is getting senators to support the expanded background checks .

“You don’t want to lose everything in the interest of getting the perfect,” Bloomberg told the New York Times.

The Senate is expected to vote next month vote on gun control following the horrific massacre of 20 children and six adults in December at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Senators will consider a ban on assault-weapon sales as an amendment - but it is not likely to pass. Supporters lack the necessary votes , Senate majority leader Harry Reid has said.

“I don’t think we should give up on the assault weapons ban,” Bloomberg said on NBC’s Meet the Press today. “But clearly, it is a more difficult issue for a lot of people.”

The National Rifle Association and some Republicans in Congress oppose the expanded background checks .

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Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the NRA, said Bloomberg’s ad campaign won't persuade the public to support gun restrictions.

“They sure don’t want him telling what self-defense firearms to own,” LaPierre said on Meet the Press. “And he can’t buy America.”

Mayor Bloomberg said of the $12 million campaign,“The N.R.A. has just had this field to itself. It’s the only one that’s been speaking out. It’s time for another voice.”

In one commercial, the campaign singles out Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has already voted in the Senate Judiciary Committee against the expansion of background checks .

“Flake’s vote,” the ad declares, equals “no background checks for dangerous criminals.”

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