FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2010
MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS RELEASES LIST OF 40 SPECIFIC STEPS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN TAKE TO BETTER ENFORCE EXISTING GUN LAWS
Coalition of More than 450 Mayors Sends “Blueprint for Federal Action” to Obama Administration
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bi-partisan coalition of more than 450 mayors, today released a comprehensive list of 40 concrete steps the federal government can take through administrative action to better enforce existing gun laws. The report, entitled Blueprint for Federal Action on Illegal Guns, was sent to President Obama and key members of his administration last August and is being publicly released in the New Year. If implemented, these recommendations would curb illegal gun trafficking, help stop terrorists and other dangerous persons from obtaining guns, and help to stop the flow of guns across the southwest border.
“For years, people, including the gun lobby, have said we should enforce the laws on the books,” said coalition co-chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “Mayors agree. The federal government should act now to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people by sharing critical information with the law enforcement agencies poised to act on that information.”
“Every day in our county, 32 Americans are killed by gun-wielding criminals – that’s a Virginia Tech-scale tragedy happening every single day,” said coalition co-chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Enacting these 40 recommendations will save lives – and each can be done administratively, without action by the Congress. America’s mayors look forward to working with the Obama Administration to better enforce the laws already on the books.”
About the Blueprint For Federal Action
Among its recommendations, the 51-page Blueprint For Federal Action urges the federal government to improve data and information-sharing among law enforcement agencies. For example, when a felon or other dangerous person attempts to buy a gun but fails the background check, state and local law enforcement should be immediately notified of the red flag. In addition, the Blueprint For Federal Action recommends that ATF should maintain the records of gun sales to persons on the terrorist watch list for at least 20 years to aid in investigations by FBI’s counterterrorism officials.
Other recommendations focus on adopting a formal gun show enforcement program to deter sales to prohibited purchasers by unlicensed sellers, increasing ATF resources to interdict gun trafficking to Mexico, and actively analyzing gun trace data to identify gun traffickers and problematic dealers. Mayors Against Illegal Guns also calls for federal law enforcement to invest in proven community engagement strategies that deter gun crime and renewed research on gun trafficking methods and patterns.
NRA Members Overwhelmingly Support Tougher Enforcement of Existing Gun Laws
A poll of NRA members and gun-owners conducted just last month by Republican pollster Frank Luntz and commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns shows strong support for enhancing enforcement of existing gun laws. Eighty-six percent of NRA members surveyed and an equal percentage of non-NRA gun owners agreed that “We can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.” Similarly, 96 percent of NRA members and 94 percent of gun-owners surveyed agreed that “Criminals who possess, use, and traffic in illegal guns should be punished to the maximum extent of the law.” The full survey results are available on the Mayors Against Illegal Guns website.
To read the Blueprint for Federal Action on Illegal Guns, visit: http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/blueprint
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from just 15 mayors to more than 450 members. Mayors Against Illegal Guns has united the nation’s mayors around common sense goals: finding new ways to strengthen the enforcement of existing laws, protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable, demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.
||Mayor Bloomberg's Press Office
||Mayor Menino's Press Office