Mayor Ryan, City Councilmembers, Families Of Mass Shooting Victims, And Local Advocates To Gather In Binghamton To Urge New York Lawmakers To Support Background Checks

Aug 30, 2013, 10:48 ET from Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Participants Call on New York Lawmakers To Co-Sponsor Bipartisan House Bill To Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands; 90 Percent of Americans Support Common-Sense Background Checks

Event is Part of "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" Bus Tour;

BINGHAMTON, N.Y., Aug. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayor Matthew Ryan, City Councilmember Lea Webb, families of Binghamton shooting victims, local leaders, and advocates gathered in Binghamton 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 121,000 in New York.

Participants came together Friday to voice their support for comprehensive background checks, and they urged members of New York's congressional delegation – including Representatives Richard Hanna, Chris Gibson, and Tom Reed – to support bipartisan legislation that would extend background checks to cover private gun sales in commercial settings. Additionally, participants gathered as a remembrance to honor the lives of the victims, the survivors, and the families of those affected by the 2009 Binghamton shootings at the American Civic Association. Those in attendance also thanked Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for voting in favor of bipartisan background checks legislation in April.

Participants in Friday's event included: Mayor Matthew Ryan of Binghamton; Binghamton City Councilwoman Lea Webb; Georgia Lerner, whose mother Roberta King was killed in the 2009 Binghamton shooting; Edwin Steplight, NAACP New York State Branch President; and Carole Coppens, Executive Director of the Binghamton YWCA.

"As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to find solutions that protect the rights of citizens and keep dangerous people away from weapons," said Binghamton City Councilwoman Lea Webb. "We call upon Congress to act now to ensure the safety of all of our communities, and I'm proud to join with the No More Names tour to encourage our leaders in Washington to act."

"We've seen the devastating impact of gun violence far too often in this country – including right here in Binghamton," said Mayor Matthew Ryan of Binghamton. "Mayors across the country are standing up for the public safety of their cities, and I'm proud to stand with them. Expanding background checks for gun purchases will save lives and make us all safer."

This past March, polling found that New Yorkers support common-sense background checks that would help keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, the seriously mentally ill, and other dangerous individuals, including: 94 percent of Congressman Chris Gibson's constituents in New York's 19th Congressional District, and 94 percent of Congressman Tom Reed's constituents in New York's 23rd Congressional District. Nationwide, 90 percent of Americans support this life-saving measure as well.

This past April, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand stood with New Yorkers and voted to support bipartisan background checks legislation sponsored by NRA A-rated Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey that would have helped keep guns out of the wrong hands by extending background checks to cover private gun sales in commercial settings. The bill failed, however, after it was blocked by a minority of senators. Corresponding legislation in the U.S. House, sponsored by Congressmen Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), currently has more than 180 co-sponsors but hasn't yet received support from Congressmen Hanna, Gibson, and Reed.

Along with 15 other states and the District of Columbia, New York goes beyond federal law by requiring background checks before private handgun sales.[1] 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.[2]
  • 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.[3]
  • Thirty-nine percent fewer law enforcement officers were shot to death with handguns.[4]

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

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 121,000 in New York – 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

[1] Colorado and Delaware enacted legislation in 2013, and did not require background checks during the period analyzed.

[2] U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2010.

[3] 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].

[4] Federal Bureau of Investigation. LEOKA Database, 2001-2011 (Accessed Mar. 2013).

Alex Katz: or 617-721-3779
Stacey Radnor: or 202-870-6668

SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns