|Mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York
and Thomas Menino of Boston, as co-chairs of “Mayors Against Illegal
Guns (MAIG),” submitted a letter, dated 1/30/2013, to the Senate’s
Committee on the Judiciary in anticipation of the committee’s hearing
on gun violence to be held January 30, 2013.
Addressed to Senators Patrick J. Leahy, Committee Chair, and Charles
Grassley, Ranking Member, the letter consisted of MAIG’s
recommendations for Congressional action to reduce gun violence.
The letter strongly urged the passage of “common-sense firearms
MAIG is a bipartisan coalition of more than 850 mayors from across the
country representing bipartisan ranks of Republicans, Democrats, and
Independents who are charged with protecting small towns and big cities
United around the common goal of closing deadly gaps in gun laws, the
group stated in their letter that it “understands that protecting the
Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans goes hand-in-hand with
keeping guns away from criminals, drug abusers, the seriously mentally
ill, and other dangerous individuals.”
Letter Offers Strong
- Require every gun
buyer to pass a criminal background check:
Since its inception, the
National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has blocked
nearly 2 million permit applications and firearms sales to individuals
who are barred by federal law from owning guns. However, online and gun
show allow the firearm purchases without a background check and this
amounts to up to 40 percent of the U.S. annual total.
The Fix Gun
Checks Act – H.R.137 (113th Congress)/S.436 (112th
HR 137 would close this
enormous gap in our laws by requiring a criminal background check for
every gun sale, with reasonable exceptions, including but not limited
to temporary transfers during hunting and for self-defense.
- Get military-style weapons and high-capacity
ammunition magazines off our streets:
Military-style weapons and
high-capacity ammunition magazines have no appropriate civilian or
sporting function. They are designed to kill large numbers of people
quickly and they have repeatedly been used to do so, including 28
percent of the mass shootings in the last four years.
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (S.150)
S. 150 would save lives by banning the
manufacture and import of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
By banning the transfer of grandfathered high-capacity magazines and
requiring background checks for transfers of grandfathered assault
weapons, the bill would keep the existing stock of weapons out of the
hands of criminals.
- Make gun trafficking
a federal crime:
Today, there is no clear
and effective statute making gun trafficking a crime. Prosecutors are
instead forced to rely upon a weak law prohibiting engaging in the
business of selling guns without a federal license, which carries the
same punishment as trafficking chicken or livestock. As a result,
according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, U.S. Attorneys
decline to prosecute 25 percent of those cases while declining only 9
percent of drug conspiracy cases.
Anti-gun trafficking legislation – S.54 (113th Congress) and
H.R. 2554 (112th Congress)
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
supports proposals to empower law enforcement to investigate and
prosecute straw purchasers, gun traffickers, and their criminal
networks. Anti-gun trafficking legislation – S.54 (113th Congress) and
H.R. 2554 (112th Congress) – would create a federal firearms
trafficking offense, punishable up to 20 years in prison.
“We need lawmakers in Washington to act, and we need you and your
committee to lead on this critical issue.”
Letter signed by
Mayor of Boston
|Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of New York City