Participants Urge Congress To Pass Tough-On-Crime Background Checks Legislation; 90 Percent of Americans Support Common-Sense Background Checks
Rally is Part of "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" Bus Tour; www.NoMoreNames.org
BALTIMORE, Sept. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator Brian Frosh, Delegate Maggie McIntosh, faith leaders and local advocates gathered in Baltimore today as part of the "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" – a 25-state national bus tour over a period of 100 days aimed at urging America's leaders to support common-sense gun policies. The event was organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of more than 1,000 mayors and 1.5 million grassroots supporters nationwide – including more than 39,000 in Maryland.
Participants came together Saturday to voice their support for comprehensive background checks and they urged Maryland lawmakers to support bipartisan legislation that would extend background checks to cover private gun sales in commercial settings. Those in attendance also urged Congress to support this life-saving measure.
Participants in Saturday's event included: State Senator Brian Frosh; Moms Demand Action State Chapter Lead Jenifer Pauliukonis; Bishop Douglas Miles, Koinonia Baptist Church; Dean Hal T. Hayek of the Episcopal Cathedral of Baltimore; Vincent DeMarco, President, Marylanders To Prevent Gun Violence; and Delegate Maggie McIntosh, Chair, Environmental Affairs Committee of the House of Delegates.
"Last session, the Maryland General Assembly succeeded in passing comprehensive gun legislation," said Senator Brian Frosh. "It was a critical step for our state to help stem gun violence, but Maryland's new law cannot stop all gun crimes by itself. Gun violence is a national problem that requires a national solution."
"As we head back into the school year, we're reminded that seven children die to gun violence every single day," said Jenifer Pauliukonis, Maryland Chapter Lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "There are some common-sense solutions to reduce that number by keeping guns out of the wrong hands, but it will require some long overdue action from our elected officials in Washington. Today, we're making it clear that we demand action to reduce gun violence."
"I hear repeatedly from members of our congregation that we must do something to end the bloodshed in our neighborhoods," said Bishop Douglas Miles of Koinonia Baptist Church. "As faith leaders we can do our best to heal communities in the wake of tragedy, but what we'd appreciate more is peace and safety on our streets. We'd like to see no more names of fallen children on the side of a bus."
"I'm joining with the No More Names bus tour today because I think our country needs to see some real action to limit the damage gun violence inflicts every day," said Dean Hal T. Hayek of the Episcopal Cathedral of Baltimore. "All across the country - including right here in Baltimore - we have seen the consequences of letting dangerous people get guns. I'd much rather be active to make sure they're not acquiring weapons in the first place, and background checks on all gun sales are a good place to start."
It remains far too easy for criminals, domestic abusers, the seriously mentally ill, and other dangerous individuals – people who know they can't pass a background check – to skirt the law and obtain guns by purchasing them online or at gun shows, where background checks are not required under federal law. Bipartisan legislation sponsored by NRA A-rated Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey – and supported by a majority of U.S. senators – would have closed this dangerous loophole by extending background checks to cover private gun sales in commercial settings. But in April, a minority of senators voted to block this common-sense measure.
Along with 15 other states and the District of Columbia, Maryland goes beyond federal law by requiring background checks before private handgun sales. In turn, the state has seen the public safety benefits of enacting this common-sense measure. In states that already require background checks for all handgun sales:
- Thirty-eight percent fewer women are shot to death by an intimate partner than in other states, while the rate murdered by other means was nearly identical.
- The firearm suicide rate was 49 percent lower than in other states, even though people committed suicide in other ways at almost precisely the same rate.
- Thirty-nine percent fewer law enforcement officers were shot to death with handguns.
The No More Names tour provides an opportunity for the more than 90 percent of Americans who support background checks to drive home a message to our elected officials that our country needs common-sense gun laws. At each stop, participants are holding rallies with a broad coalition of supporters – including police, survivors, domestic violence prevention advocates, mayors, and other elected officials – to commemorate those we've lost and call on our leaders to stand with the American people on sensible gun policies. They both applaud senators who voted to support comprehensive and enforceable background checks, and urge those who opposed this measure to take a second look.
States on the tour include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit www.NoMoreNames.org.
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 1,000 mayors from across the country. The coalition has more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters – including more than 39,000 in Maryland – making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan organization, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. Learn more at www.MayorsAgainstIllegalGuns.org.
 Colorado and Delaware enacted legislation in 2013, and did not require background checks during the period analyzed.
 U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2010.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005) [cited 2012 Dec. 20].
 Federal Bureau of Investigation. LEOKA Database, 2001-2011 (Accessed Mar. 2013).
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns