Frustrated by Lack of Federal Action to Stem Escalating Gun Violence Crisis
Washington, DC – Today, a bipartisan group of 164 mayors in the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) sent a letter to Congress urging action on gun safety legislation. Despite mass shootings at Michigan State, in Half Moon Bay, Monterey Park, Uvalde, Buffalo, Nashville, Louisville, Dadeville and hundreds of other communities in the past year, Congress has failed to take action on key provisions that could help to reduce gun violence. While America’s mayors and police chiefs are doing what they can locally to stem gun violence, they need federal help and are calling on Congress to pass gun safety legislation, including expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. In the letter, the mayors write in part:
“How many children must die, how many adults must die before our nation takes action to reduce gun violence? We must and we can do more to protect people from this senseless slaughter. Mayors and police chiefs are doing everything they can to prevent and reduce gun violence in their cities, although local ordinances are often preempted by state legislatures. The time is now for Congress to act. Our children deserve better.”
The full text of the letter to Congress can be found here and below:
April 17, 2023
An Open Letter from the Nation’s Mayors to the United States Congress Urging Immediate Action on Gun Safety Legislation
Dear Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:
Again and again and again, Americans are stunned by senseless acts of violence involving guns. The March 27 shooting that took the lives of three nine-year-old children and three adults in a Nashville elementary school was horrific but not isolated. It was the third school shooting in seven days, following ones in Arlington (TX) and Denver. And there have been hundreds of mass shootings that occurred over the last year, including those In Louisville, at Michigan State, and in Half Moon Bay, Monterey Park, Uvalde, Highland Park, Buffalo, and many other cities. Too many times, mayors have expressed shock at a mass shooting. Much more frequently, many of us must cope with the gun violence that occurs on the streets of our cities.
For more than 50 years the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been calling for sensible gun laws to protect the public. In December nearly 70 mayors from across the country whose cities had experienced a mass shooting in 2022 sent a letter to Senate Leaders urging the Senate to pass bipartisan gun safety legislation that had already passed the House: S.736, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, and S.529, the Background Check Expansion Act.
Today we repeat their message and urge you to immediately pass and send to the President legislation to ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines and to strengthen the background check system, bills that could have prevented what happened in Louisville and Nashville and so many other cities from happening in the future.
How many children must die, how many adults must die before our nation takes action to reduce gun violence? We must and we can do more to protect people from this senseless slaughter. Mayors and police chiefs are doing everything they can to prevent and reduce gun violence in their cities, although local ordinances are often preempted by state legislatures. The time for Congress to act is now. Our children deserve better.