WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, 214 bipartisan mayors from across the country sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), urging them to immediately call the Senate back to Washington to take action on bipartisan gun safety legislation. The letter is signed by Republican and Democratic mayors, including Mayor Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio.
"This past weekend, senseless gun violence claimed dozens of innocent lives and forever changed countless others. America's mayors are on the frontlines of this epidemic, and our communities can no longer wait for the federal government to take action. Keeping our cities safe is not a partisan issue. That is why we are together calling upon Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer to immediately bring the Senate back into session and take up bipartisan solutions to this crisis. The future of our nation and cities depends on it," said U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Bryan Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills (MI).
"We grieve with El Paso, Dayton and all communities that have suffered the pain of gun violence and hate. As a start, I call on the Senate to return to work and pass these two commonsense gun reform bills. How many more families must suffer before we act?" asked USCM Vice President Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville (KY).
"There is no worse thing that can happen to a city. Dayton is pulling together, but this violence has left a lasting void in our community. We cannot allow this tragic event to fade from our memories without taking action. We cannot just accept it and wait until horror strikes again. Politics has stood in the way of action for too long, and I can tell you politics seems very petty when it is your friends and neighbors who are injured or dead. We are urging everyone in Washington to come together and end this crisis," said USCM Second Vice President Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton (OH).
"The United States Conference of Mayors has supported common sense gun regulations since 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated," commented USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. "This year we have been focusing on two bills that could make a real difference in our cities: H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. Both bills passed the House in February and have been languishing in the Senate ever since. 214 mayors are saying today that enough is enough and it's time to pass these bills and help us reduce gun violence in our cities."
The letter urges the Senate to consider two bipartisan bills that previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives: H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. H.R. 8 would close serious loopholes in the nation's background check system for gun purchases, and H.R. 1112 would lengthen the background check review period deadline.
For over five decades, the Conference has advocated for policies to combat gun violence, consistent with its support of the Second Amendment. At its 87th Annual Conference, mayors passed a series of resolutions to address this crisis.
The full text of the letter is below and can be found here.
Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer:
RE: Senate Action Needed NOW on Gun Safety Legislation
On behalf of The United States Conference of Mayors, we urge you to immediately call the Senate back to Washington to take action on bipartisan gun safety legislation.
Already in 2019, there have been over 250 mass shootings. The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them.
In late February, the House of Representatives passed two bills that would greatly strengthen the background check system:
H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019
H.R. 8 passed the House on February 27 on a bipartisan vote of 240-190. It would close serious loopholes in the background check system by:
requiring all firearm purchases to undergo a NICS background check;helping to prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining deadly weapons by circumventing the laws on the books;prohibiting unlicensed transfers of guns through unregulated secondary sales; andincreasing law enforcement's ability to trace crime guns.
H.R. 1112 passed the House on February 28 on a bipartisan vote of 228-198. If this bill had been law in 2015, the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston might have been avoided. The bill would extend the background check review period deadline from three to 10 business days, to help ensure that background checks are completed before weapons are sold and that dangerous individuals who should not have them are unable to purchase them.
H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 are bipartisan, sensible gun safety bills that would make our cities and our people safer, and would in no way compromise gun owners' rights.
We urge you to call the Senate back to session now to take up and pass these bills to help reduce gun violence and the terrible toll it takes in our cities and our nation.
Quick passage of these bills is a critical step to reducing gun violence in our country. The United States Conference of Mayors stands ready to work with Congress, the Administration and others to develop holistic remedies to the scourge of gun violence. America has proven time and again that we can rise to our most difficult challenges. We look forward to working with you to find a way forward to protect our citizens from this senseless carnage.
Bryan K. Barnett Mayor of Rochester Hills, MI President
Greg Fischer Mayor of Louisville, KY. Vice President
Nan Whaley Mayor of Dayton, OH Second Vice President
Tom Cochran CEO and Executive Director
Stephen K. Benjamin Mayor of Columbia, SC Past President
Elizabeth B. Kautz Mayor of Burnsville, MN Past President
Dee Margo Mayor of El Paso, TX
Dan Horrigan Mayor of Akron, OH
Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft Mayor of Alameda, CA
Rochelle Nason Mayor of Albany, CA Kathy M. Sheehan Mayor of Albany, NY Tim Keller Mayor of Albuquerque, NM Justin Wilson Mayor of Alexandria, VA Gavin Buckley Mayor of Annapolis, MD Jeff Williams Mayor of Arlington, TX Keisha Lance Bottoms Mayor of Atlanta, GA Nancy Backus Mayor of Auburn, WA Hardie Davis Jr. Mayor of Augusta, GA Steve Adler Mayor of Austin, TX Bernard 'Jack' C. Young Mayor of Baltimore, MD
Sharon Weston Broome Mayor of Baton Rouge, LA Denny Doyle Mayor of Beaverton, OR Jesse Arreguin Mayor of Berkeley, CA Michael P. Cahill Mayor of Beverly, MA John A. Mirisch Mayor of Beverly Hills, CA Michael J. Venezia Mayor of Bloomfield, NJ Martin J. Walsh Mayor of Boston, MA Suzanne 'Zan' Jones Mayor of Boulder, CO Robert Fazen Mayor of Bound Brook, NJ Joe Ganim Mayor of Bridgeport, CT Andy Linko Mayor of Brownstown Township, MI Trey Mendez Mayor of Brownsville, TX Miro Weinberger Mayor of Burlington, VT
Paula Zelenko Mayor of Burton, MI Marc C. McGovern Mayor of Cambridge, MA Thomas M. Bernabei Mayor of Canton, OH James Brainard Mayor of Carmel, IN Lydia Lavelle Mayor of Carrboro, NC James A. Diossa Mayor of Central Falls, RI Deborah Frank Feinen Mayor of Champaign, IL Pam Hemminger Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC Andy Berke Mayor of Chattanooga, TN Lori E. Lightfoot Mayor of Chicago, IL Mary Casillas Salas Mayor of Chula Vista, CA John Cranley Mayor of Cincinnati, OH Frank G. Jackson Mayor of Cleveland, OH Patrick L. Wojahn Mayor of College Park, MD Andrew J. Ginther Mayor of Columbus, OH
Biff Traber Mayor of Corvallis, OR Meghan Sahli-Wells Mayor of Culver City, CA Eric Johnson Mayor of Dallas, TX Judith 'Judy' Paul Mayor of Davie, FL Michael B. Hancock Mayor of Denver, CO T.M. 'Frank' Franklin Cownie Mayor of Des Moines, IA Mike Duggan Mayor of Detroit, MI Riley H. Rogers Mayor of Dolton, IL David Gregory Haubert Mayor of Dublin, CA Roy D. Buol Mayor of Dubuque, IA
Emily Larson Mayor of Duluth, MN Steve Schewel Mayor of Durham, NC Marcia A. Leclerc Mayor of East Hartford, CT Lisa Yarborough-Gauthier Mayor of East Palo Alto, CA Salvatore J. Panto Jr. Mayor of Easton, PA James B. Hovland Mayor of Edina, MN J. Christian Bollwage Mayor of Elizabeth, NJ Stephen H. Hagerty Mayor of Evanston, IL Cassie Franklin Mayor of Everett, WA
Carlo DeMaria Jr. Mayor of Everett, MA Tim Mahoney Mayor of Fargo, ND Lioneld Jordan Mayor of Fayetteville, AR Karen Weaver Mayor of Flint, MI Acquanetta Warren Mayor of Fontana, CA Thomas 'Tom' C. Henry Mayor of Fort Wayne, IN Betsy Price Mayor of Fort Worth, TX Sam Hindi Mayor of Foster City, CA
Yvonne M. Spicer Mayor of Framingham, MA Lily Mei Mayor of Fremont, CA Jud Ashman Mayor of Gaithersburg, MD Karen M. Freeman-Wilson Mayor of Gary, IN Rosalynn Bliss Mayor of Grand Rapids, MI Eric Genrich Mayor of Green Bay, WI Nancy Vaughan Mayor of Greensboro, NC Shane T. Bemis Mayor of Gresham, OR Kristina Kovarik Mayor of Gurnee, IL Luke Bronin Mayor of Hartford, CT Barbara Halliday Mayor of Hayward, CA
Don Ryan Mayor of Hempstead, NY Debra March Mayor of Henderson, NV Stacey Armato Mayor of Hermosa Beach, CA Nancy Rodkin Rotering Mayor of Highland Park, IL Steve Callaway Mayor of Hillsboro, OR
Josh Levy Mayor of Hollywood, FL Kirk Caldwell Mayor of Honolulu, HI Sylvester Turner Mayor of Houston, TX Steve Williams Mayor of Huntington, WV Eileen Weir Mayor of Independence, MO Bobby J. Hopewell Mayor of Kalamazoo, MI Dontario 'Don' Hardy Mayor of Kinston, NC Madeline Anne Rogero Mayor of Knoxville, TN Linda Evans Mayor of La Quinta, CA Andy Schor Mayor of Lansing, MI Kenneth D. Miyagishima Mayor of Las Cruces, NM Carolyn G. Goodman Mayor of Las Vegas, NV Hazelle Rogers Mayor of Lauderdale Lakes, FL
David J. Berger Mayor of Lima, OH
John P. Marchand Mayor of Livermore, CA Robert Garcia Mayor of Long Beach, CA Eric Garcetti Mayor of Los Angeles, CA William Samaras Mayor of Lowell, MA Thomas M. McGee Mayor of Lynn, MA Nicola Smith Mayor of Lynnwood, WA Satya Rhodes-Conway Mayor of Madison, WI Joyce Craig Mayor of Manchester, NH Ray Mueller Mayor of Menlo Park, CA Kevin M. Scarpati Mayor of Meriden, CT John Giles Mayor of Mesa, AZ Francis X. Suarez Mayor of Miami, FL Thomas 'Tom' Barrett Mayor of Milwaukee, WI Jacob Frey Mayor of Minneapolis, MN John Engen Mayor of Missoula, MT James 'Jamie' E. Mayo Mayor of Monroe, LA Lisa Matichak Mayor of Mountain View, CA Steve Gawron Mayor of Muskegon, MI Jill Techel Mayor of Napa, CA
Jim Donchess Mayor of Nashua, NH David Briley Mayor of Nashville, TN Jon Mitchell Mayor of New Bedford, MA Toni N. Harp Mayor of New Haven, CT LaToya Cantrell Mayor of New Orleans, LA Bill de Blasio Mayor of New York, NY Alan L. Nagy Mayor of Newark, CA Ras J. Baraka Mayor of Newark, NJ McKinley L. Price DDS Mayor of Newport News, VA Ruthanne Fuller Mayor of Newton, MA Paul A. Dyster Mayor of Niagara Falls, NY Chris Koos Mayor of Normal, IL Breea Clark Mayor of Norman, OK Francis 'Mac' Womack III Mayor of North Brunswick, NJ Anan Abu-Taleb Mayor of Oak Park, IL Libby Schaaf Mayor of Oakland, CA Buddy Dyer Mayor of Orlando, FL Eric Filseth Mayor of Palo Alto, CA Christine Hunschofsky Mayor of Parkland, FL
Ashira Mohammed Mayor of Pembroke Park, FL Frank C. Ortis Mayor of Pembroke Pines, FL Teresa Barrett Mayor of Petaluma, CA Jim Kenney Mayor of Philadelphia, PA Kate Gallego Mayor of Phoenix, AZ Brian C. Wahler Mayor of Piscataway, NJ William Peduto Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA Adrian O. Mapp Mayor of Plainfield, NJ Harry LaRosiliere Mayor of Plano, TX Rex Hardin Mayor of Pompano Beach, FL Ted Wheeler Mayor of Portland, OR Jorge O. Elorza Mayor of Providence, RI Hillary Schieve Mayor of Reno, NV Levar Stoney Mayor of Richmond, VA Thomas K. Butt Mayor of Richmond, CA Lovely A. Warren Mayor of Rochester, NY Robert J. Ray Mayor of Rochester, MI Kim Norton Mayor of Rochester, MN Bridget Donnell Newton Mayor of Rockville, MD
Tammy Dana-Bashian Mayor of Rowlett, TX Darrell Steinberg Mayor of Sacramento, CA Kimberly Driscoll Mayor of Salem, MA Jacob R. Day Mayor of Salisbury, MD Jackie Biskupski Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT Ron Nirenberg Mayor of San Antonio, TX London Breed Mayor of San Francisco, CA Jason Pu Mayor of San Gabriel, CA Sam Liccardo Mayor of San Jose, CA Carmen Yulin Cruz Mayor of San Juan, PR Pauline Russo Cutter Mayor of San Leandro, CA Miguel A. Pulido Mayor of Santa Ana, CA Cathy Murillo Mayor of Santa Barbara, CA Martine Watkins Mayor of Santa Cruz, CA Alan Webber Mayor of Santa Fe, NM Gleam Davis Mayor of Santa Monica, CA Gary R. McCarthy Mayor of Schenectady, NY Jenny A. Durkan Mayor of Seattle, WA Michael Vandersteen Mayor of Sheboygan, WI Adrian Perkins Mayor of Shreveport, LA Jeffrey Z. Slavin Mayor of Somerset, MD Joseph A. Curtatone Mayor of Somerville, MA Pete Buttigieg Mayor of South Bend, IN Lyda Krewson Mayor of St. Louis, MO Melvin Carter Mayor of St. Paul, MN
Rick Kriseman Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL David Martin Mayor of Stamford, CT Michael D. Tubbs Mayor of Stockton, CA Joseph T. McElveen Jr. Mayor of Sumter, SC Michael J. Ryan Mayor of Sunrise, FL Victoria Woodards Mayor of Tacoma, WA John E. Dailey Mayor of Tallahassee, FL Michelle J. Gomez Mayor of Tamarac, FL Jane Castor Mayor of Tampa, FL Mark W. Mitchell Mayor of Tempe, AZ Wade Kapszukiewicz Mayor of Toledo, OH Michelle De La Isla Mayor of Topeka, KS Patrick J. Furey Mayor of Torrance, CA Jonathan Rothschild Mayor of Tucson, AZ Carol Dutra-Vernaci Mayor of Union City, CA Diane W. Marlin Mayor of Urbana, IL
Muriel Bowser Mayor of Washington, DC Quentin M. Hart Mayor of Waterloo, IA Shari Cantor Mayor of West Hartford, CT Christopher L. Cabaldon Mayor of West Sacramento, CA Michelle W. Brindle Mayor of Westfield, NJ William R. Wild Mayor of Westland, MI Daniel J. Stermer Mayor of Weston, FL Thomas M. Roach Mayor of White Plains, NY Michael S. Purzycki Mayor of Wilmington, DE Zachary J. Vruwink Mayor of Wisconsin Rapids, WI Jamael Tito Brown Mayor of Youngstown, OH John F. Dunbar Mayor of Yountville, CA
Cc: United States Senate
About The United States Conference of Mayors -- The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.
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SOURCE U.S. Conference of Mayors