After Undercover Investigation Yields 254 Illegal Guns in New York City, Mayors Nationwide Urge Support for Common-Sense Measures to Address Loose Federal and State Gun Laws
NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following Monday's announcement that an NYPD undercover investigation produced the largest seizure of illegal, out-of-state guns in New York City history, members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns – the national, bipartisan coalition of more than 1,000 mayors and 1.5 million grassroots supporters across America – released the statements below noting that this news demonstrated that gun crime is a national problem that requires a national solution. The mayors also highlighted the urgent need for sensible measures to address weak federal and state gun laws that allow firearms to easily cross state lines and fall into the wrong hands.
"New York's illegal gun bust proves that loose federal and state gun laws pose a threat to Americans everywhere – from Massachusetts to Mississippi," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "It's past time for our elected leaders to stand up for public safety and pass common-sense gun laws that will stop the flow of illegal firearms into our communities."
"Whether we come from big cities or small towns, mayors across America are united by their desire to see sensible gun legislation that will help save lives," said Mayor John Engen of Missoula, Montana. "Gun violence doesn't respect state borders or city lines, which is why we need meaningful action to strengthen loose gun laws in Congress and state legislatures around the country. Montanans know that we can respect the Second Amendment while also doing everything in our power to keep guns away from dangerous people."
"Just like New York, Pennsylvania's cities and towns remain vulnerable to the threat of illegal guns being trafficked across state lines: In 2011, one-in-five guns that were recovered at Pennsylvania crime scenes were originally purchased outside the state," said Mayor Geoffrey Henry of Oxford, Pennsylvania. "Until lawmakers in D.C. and states across the country support measures that will address our weak gun laws, illegal guns will continue to wreak havoc on our communities."
"I have been proud to join with more than 1,000 mayors nationwide to keep illegal guns off our streets, because what happens in other states affects the safety of people in Minneapolis and across Minnesota," said Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis. "Gun violence knows no bounds, which is why we remain committed to pushing for common-sense background checks and other tough-on-crime measures that will help prevent dangerous people from getting their hands on guns."
"No matter how tough our enforcement is at the local level, more and more innocent Americans will continue to be shot and killed in our streets until we have sensible gun laws in this country," said Mayor Gow B. Fields of Lakeland, Florida. "This is why I'm proud to be a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns as we continue our campaign for sane measures that will help save lives, reduce the number of illegally possessed guns, and protect our communities."
New York's undercover investigation resulted in the removal of 254 illegal guns from city streets. The firearms seized included military-style assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines, a fully automatic machine gun, and handguns. The firearms were trafficked to New York from North and South Carolina, which in 2011 ranked second and third, respectively, among the top sources for illegal guns recovered and traced in New York City.
Strong, common-sense gun laws have helped New York crack down on gun crime and remain one of the safest big cities in America. But despite its success, 90 percent of firearms recovered at New York crime scenes in 2011 originated from outside the state – illustrating the need to address weak gun laws at the federal and state levels.
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. We have more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition 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.
Alex Katz: firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-324-8245
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns