Using Purchasing Power of Cities to Promote Better Gun Policies

Adopted at the 87th Annual Meeting in 2019

  • WHEREAS, there are almost 40,000 gun deaths in America each year including more than 20,000 suicides by gun, and there are more than 100,000 injuries from guns each year; and

    WHEREAS, the number of mass shootings in the U.S. has steadily increased since the mass shooting in Columbine in 1999; and

    WHEREAS, the U.S. has four times more homicides each year than other nations and mass shootings are only a small fraction of those gun crimes affecting our cities, with suicides, domestic violence, and other day-to-day homicides driving the gun violence epidemic in our neighborhoods; and

    WHEREAS, Mayors are on the frontlines of fighting this epidemic as evidenced by the fact that more than half of all gun homicides took place within 127 cities in 2015 according to Everytown for Gun Safety; and

    WHEREAS, African American communities are disproportionately affected and devastated by the high rates of U.S. homicides, as black Americans are ten times more likely than white Americans to die from gun violence; and

    WHEREAS, a recent Johns Hopkins study revealed that 85.3 percent of gun owners and 88.7 percent of non-gun owners support universal background checks, with similar numbers supporting higher training standards for concealed-carry permit holders and better reporting on mental illness for background checks; and

    WHEREAS, a majority of Americans now support banning the purchase of assault weapons, according to an October 2018 Gallup poll; and

    WHEREAS, Mayors work with Police Chiefs and officers every day to find common sense, effective solutions to reduce gun crimes in their communities; and

    WHEREAS, police officers who work every day to reduce gun violence should not have to worry about types of weapons and ammunition that increase the threat to their safety, such as bump stocks, silencers, and armor-piercing ammunition; and

    WHEREAS, despite the best efforts of Mayors to take action to reduce gun violence through legislation, Congress and many state legislatures have preempted cities across the U.S. from putting in place effective laws that are proven to prevent and reduce gun violence; and

    WHEREAS, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has a 50-year history of formally adopting and aggressively promoting strong policies to reduce gun violence, all consistent with its support for the Second Amendment to the Constitution; and

    WHEREAS, cities across the U.S. spend more than $5 billion to purchase guns every year and spend additional billions of dollars on ammunition and other gun-related supplies; and

    WHEREAS, despite Congressional and state preemption of municipal legislation, cities are positioned to use their purchasing power to impact the purchase of weapons, ammunition, and other gun related items, for their police departments;

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages member cities to purchase guns from responsible gun manufacturers and dealers; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference continue to work with gun violence reduction researchers and experts, crime experts, advocacy groups, national organizations of police chiefs, and individual police chiefs from cities across America to develop pragmatic ideas and steps that mayors can take through city procurement processes to influence and increase responsible behavior from gun manufacturers and dealers who sell guns to cities; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that through this effort a range of ideas be considered, including score cards to rate gun manufacturers and dealers, requirements placed on manufacturers and dealers regarding the types of weapons and ammunition that dealers sell, incentivizing manufacturers and dealers to comply with and encourage policies that increase gun safety and reduce the amount of illegal guns in cities, and other ideas brought forward by industry experts.

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