WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Conference of Mayors President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's actions to reduce gun violence:
"The nation's mayors applaud the important step President Obama is taking to reduce gun violence in our nation. It is mayors, police chiefs and other local officials who must pick up the pieces of shattered communities when shootings happen, must comfort the families now missing loved ones, must bring the shooters to justice.
"The U.S. Conference of Mayors has had strong policy aimed at reducing gun violence for nearly 50 years and, since 1999, has repeatedly called for strengthening the background check system. We support requiring a background check for every gun sale and increasing the reporting of mental health and other relevant records into the background check system database.
"Some of our cities, including Baltimore, have seen a recent spike in homicides, and we know that the proliferation of guns on our streets and in the hands of people who should not have them has been a significant factor in this.
"Can there be any doubt that background checks for all handgun sales can make a difference? In the 18 states that require them, 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners, 48 percent fewer on-duty law enforcement officers are killed with handguns that are not their own, and the rate of gun trafficking is 48 percent lower.
"Every day in America, 89 people die from gun violence; 31 of these are murdered. This is unacceptable, it is intolerable, and it is why the vast majority of Americans support strengthening the background-check system.
"President Obama shares the sense of urgency mayors feel about ending our nation's gun violence crisis. That is why we appreciate what he is doing and why we stand with him."
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.
SOURCE The U.S. Conference of Mayors