A group started by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg held a public meeting Wednesday in Chapel Hill in an effort to raise awareness about gun violence.
Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a new group to create tighter gun laws.
The organization, “Everytown for Gun Safety,” plans to mobilize voters to back candidates and ballot measures that support expanded background checks.
The group also plans to issue candidate questionnaires and scorecards.
Bloomberg made nearly $14 million in campaign contributions for gun-control candidates in the 2012 elections alone.
On Wednesday, a local group kicked off the “Every Town” movement in Chapel Hill. Several mayors, including Mark Kleinschmidt of Chapel Hill, spoke to a crowd gathered in front of the post office on Franklin Street. They said they hope the new effort will change the gun control discussion in this country.
Also speaking was the Gilles Rousseau, father of Lauren Rousseau, a substitute teacher killed in the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
"That day she was assigned to that classroom only 30 minutes before she was killed,” he said. “She died with multiple shotgun wounds in front of 15 of her little kids behind her."
He said he hopes the new effort will make changes in the next year or two. Organizers say the goal is to make people in every town aware that gun violence can happen there.