81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

IN SUPPORT OF BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR ALL GUN SALES

            WHEREAS, it is estimated that in the United States an estimated 40 percent of all gun transfers take place without going through a licensed dealer, including online and at gun shows, and this means that every year there are 6.6 million guns sold without a background check for the buyer; and

            WHEREAS, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is an effective tool to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous individuals, and this system has blocked 1.9 million illegal gun purchases and permit applications in the past two decades; and

            WHEREAS, despite this success, the system is undermined by legal loopholes and missing records that enable too many dangerous individuals to obtain weapons they later use in crimes; and

            WHEREAS, it is estimated that state and federal agencies have failed to report more than one million records of persons with dangerous mental illness into the NICS database; and

            WHEREAS, in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, Virginia and other states have submitted hundreds of thousands of new mental health records since the massacre, yet 19 states have each submitted fewer than 100 mental health records; and

            WHEREAS, every day, 33 Americans are killed with guns; and

            WHEREAS, evidence shows that background checks save lives, as evidenced by the facts that in 15 states that already require background checks for all gun sales, gun trafficking is 48 percent lower than in states that fail to require background checks for all gun sales; the rate of women murdered by an intimate partner with a gun was 38 percent lower than in other states; and the firearm suicide rate was 49 percent lower than in other states; and

            WHEREAS, 88 percent of gun owners nationwide, including 86 percent of NRA members, support criminal background checks for all guns sales based on a 2012 survey by Douglas Schoen; and

            WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has been a strong advocate for common-sense policies that keep guns out of dangerous hands while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and this Conference has long called for actions to close deadly gaps in NICS,

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges passage of important public safety legislation in Congress which would require a background check for every gun sale and which would also increase the reporting of mental health and other relevant records into the NICS database.

            Projected Cost:  Unknown


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013