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MAIG Co-Chairs Send Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee

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 legislation.” 

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 alike.

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.”

Demand a Plan

Letter Offers Strong Support

  1. 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 Congress)

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

Thomas M. Menino   
Mayor of Boston   
Coalition Co-Chair
Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of New York City   
Coalition Co-Chair



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Posted: January 31, 2013     Nancy J Conrad

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