Washington, D.C. – Today, 214 bipartisan mayors from across the country sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), urging them to immediately call the Senate back to Washington to take action on bipartisan gun safety legislation. The letter is signed by Republican and Democratic mayors, including Mayor Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio.
“This past weekend, senseless gun violence claimed dozens of innocent lives and forever changed countless others. America’s mayors are on the frontlines of this epidemic, and our communities can no longer wait for the federal government to take action. Keeping our cities safe is not a partisan issue. That is why we are together calling upon Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer to immediately bring the Senate back into session and take up bipartisan solutions to this crisis. The future of our nation and cities depends on it,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Bryan Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills (MI).
“We grieve with El Paso, Dayton and all communities that have suffered the pain of gun violence and hate. As a start, I call on the Senate to return to work and pass these two commonsense gun reform bills. How many more families must suffer before we act?” asked USCM Vice President Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville (KY).
“There is no worse thing that can happen to a city. Dayton is pulling together, but this violence has left a lasting void in our community. We cannot allow this tragic event to fade from our memories without taking action. We cannot just accept it and wait until horror strikes again. Politics has stood in the way of action for too long, and I can tell you politics seems very petty when it is your friends and neighbors who are injured or dead. We are urging everyone in Washington to come together and end this crisis,” said USCM Second Vice President Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton (OH).
“The United States Conference of Mayors has supported common sense gun regulations since 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated,” commented USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. “This year we have been focusing on two bills that could make a real difference in our cities: H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. Both bills passed the House in February and have been languishing in the Senate ever since. 214 mayors are saying today that enough is enough and it’s time to pass these bills and help us reduce gun violence in our cities.”
The letter urges the Senate to consider two bipartisan bills that previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives: H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. H.R. 8 would close serious loopholes in the nation’s background check system for gun purchases, and H.R. 1112 would lengthen the background check review period deadline.
For over five decades, the Conference has advocated for policies to combat gun violence, consistent with its support of the Second Amendment. At its 87th Annual Conference, mayors passed a series of resolutions to address this crisis.
The full text of the letter is below and can be found here.