As Another Tragedy Strikes an American City, U.S. Conference of Mayors Sends Letter to Senate Leadership Renewing a Call for Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, Milwaukee is reeling from a mass shooting tragedy, as yet another city is hit by the crisis of gun violence in America. It was one year ago today that the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act, which would close serious loopholes in the background check system.  This life-saving bill has been awaiting action in the Senate ever since. To mark the one-year anniversary of H.R. 8’s passage, the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is once again demanding action and has sent a letter to Senate leaders calling for an immediate vote on common sense background check legislation.

This effort continues the sustained push mayors have made on an issue personal to many of them. In August, following the tragedies in Dayton and El Paso, nearly 300 bipartisan mayors wrote to the Senate urging a vote, and in the last year mayors have come to Washington to lobby Congress directly on this issue. With the release of today’s letter, USCM President Bryan K. Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan, made the following statement:

“Mayors across America have seen senseless carnage hit their cities. Since the House acted last year, Dayton, El Paso, Virginia Beach, Jersey City, and now Milwaukee are among the countless communities that have suffered the consequences of Washington’s inaction on gun violence. There are passionate views on this issue, but we should all be able to agree on the need for background checks. This crisis will not simply go away on its own. And neither will the voices of American mayors.”

The letter sent today, signed by the elected leadership of the USCM, asks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to allow an up or down vote on bipartisan background check legislation. It reads, in part:

“America’s mayors are about getting things done. When we are confronted with a problem in our cities and there is something we can do to alleviate it, we do it. We expect no less of our elected leaders in Washington. H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 will help to reduce gun violence in our country.  The Senate should take action on them now.”

The full text of USCM’s letter can be found here.