from the inbox:
TWELVE DELAWARE COUNTY MAYORS, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS,DEMAND ACTION FROM WASHINGTON TO END GUN VIOLENCEOne Month Since Newtown Massacre, Delco Leaders Endorse Common-Sense Gun Reforms and Release New Television Ad Featuring Family Members of Gun Violence VictimsAd Calls on Congress to Support Sensible Gun Laws;Ad Airs in Philadelphia Market and also Available on www.DemandAPlan.orgOne month after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Media Mayor Bob McMahon, 11 other Delaware County mayors and local law enforcement officials gathered in Media, PA to call on President Obama and members of Congress to take immediate steps to end the gun violence epidemic that kills 33 Americans every day. Despite the nation’s gun violence epidemic, Washington lawmakers have done nothing to address this critical issue and stop the bloodshed. Now, just weeks after 26 innocent people – including 20 children – were murdered in Newtown, Delaware County leaders demanded common-sense gun reforms that will help save American lives.Delaware County leaders also released a new television ad at the event today by Mayors Against Illegal Guns featuring family members of gun violence victims demanding a plan of action from Washington. The ad will air in the Philadelphia market and can be seen here: www.DemandAPlan.orgLocal officials also noted that since the Newtown shooting, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has added more than 100 mayors to its national bipartisan coalition to end gun violence and grown to more than one million supporters. In an effort to keep their community safe, leaders at today’s event urged Washington to end gun violence in America by:· Requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales: Background checks are the only systematic way to stop felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people from buying firearms. But federal law only requires background checks for gun sales at licensed dealers. Almost 6.5 million guns are sold each year in the U.S. by unlicensed “private sellers,” including online and at gun shows. That means that between 40% and 50% of gun sales may take place with no background check for the buyer. According to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, 82% of gun owners support criminal background checks on all gun sales.
· Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines: Military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines have no place on our streets. They are designed to kill large numbers of people quickly, and they have no other use in civilian hands. Today, even people with criminal records, or with serious mental illness, can and do buy assault weapons from unlicensed private sellers who don’t conduct background checks.· Make gun trafficking a federal crime: Every year, tens of thousands of guns find their way into the hands of criminals through illegal trafficking channels. But there is no clear and effective statute that makes gun trafficking a federal crime. Prosecutors who want to combat traffickers are forced to rely on a weak law that prohibits “engaging in the business of selling guns without a federal license,” which carries the same punishment as trafficking chicken or livestock.Statements from Participants at Today’s EventChester, PA Mayor John Linder“Our hearts go out to the families of the six educators and 20 children who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School one month ago. Nothing can take away the pain of losing a child or a parent or a sister or brother. In Chester, the news reports of gun violence look different, but the sorrow is the same. If we can do anything to help prevent the loss of another child, then we owe it to their memories to take action.”Lansdowne Mayor Jayne C. Young“We all agree that we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and people who are seriously mentally ill, but about 40 percent of guns are sold in this country without federal background checks. It’s not an infringement of the Second Amendment to require background checks for anyone who buys a gun.”Collingdale Mayor Frank Kelly“It’s very hard for federal prosecutors to go after illegal gun traffickers, because current law treats it as a paperwork violation. When they’re prosecuted, gun traffickers are punished the same way as people trafficking chickens or livestock. It’s time to make illegal gun trafficking a federal crime.”Folcroft Mayor Bob Frey“Straw gun purchases, like the one that led to the murder of Officer Bradley Fox, need to be punished severely. Pennsylvania recently addressed this, but the typical straw purchaser convicted in federal court only gets probation, and there’s no increased penalty for gun trafficking kingpins. Straw purchasers have blood on their hands, and there have to be severe consequences.”Swarthmore Mayor Rick Lowe“Respect for the Second Amendment goes hand-in-hand with keeping dangerous people from getting guns. Eighty-two percent of gun owners support requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales. This is a consensus view. We need Congress to partner with us to end this terrible epidemic of gun violence. There is no excuse for inaction.”Media Mayor Bob McMahon“As a combat Veteran in Vietnam, I believe that that military style firearms and clips should be limited to the military and law enforcement officials.”Aldan Mayor James Hopely“We support the Second Amendment and the right to self defense in the home. Hunting is a Pennsylvania tradition. But the Second Amendment was written when the state of the art was a single shot musket. No one needs military style weapons and high capacity magazines for hunting or self defense.”Morton Mayor Maureen A. Piselli“As we remember the children who were killed in Connecticut, we must think of our own children and grandchildren. It can happen here, and it does. Every year, more than 1,300 people die from gunshot wounds in Pennsylvania, and Congress has done very little to solve this epidemic. The Senate hasn’t even confirmed an ATF director in more than six years. It’s time for leadership.”Colwyn Mayor Dan Rutland“Requiring background checks for all gun sales is about enforcing the laws we already have. It makes no sense to prohibit felons from buying firearms at gun shops but let them get whatever they want on the internet. We stop individuals who are severely mentally ill from buying guns in Pennsylvania, but they’re allowed to get them across state lines. There’s a simple solution: federal background checks for every gun sale.”Parkside Mayor Ardele Gordon“Thirty-three Americans are murdered with guns every day—this is too important to wait another month. We need bold leadership in Washington to fix our broken gun laws so a tragedy like Newtown never happens again.”Trainer Mayor Francis Zalewski“We simply cannot sit back and let partisanship and Washington gridlock get in the way of common-sense reforms to our gun laws. The safety of our communities and those who protect them are on the line. We need Congress to join with us. Nothing can be more important.”Millbourne Mayor Thomas S. Kramer“Last summer a white supremacist entered a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin and shot several people, killing six. Shortly after that, a man walked into the Sikh Temple in Millbourne, Pennsylvania with a gun. The FBI told me the man was within his rights and there was nothing they could do. The people of Millbourne have had enough. We demand a plan from Congress and the White House to stop the gun violence that’s terrorizing cities and boroughs everywhere.”East Lansdowne Former Mayor Bob Dimond“I fought in the Korean War and I’ve seen what guns can do. We recognize that the right of an individual to keep and bear arms is settled law, but all of our rights have limits, and I cannot see a reasonable use for high capacity magazines or guns modeled after military weapons. Mass shootings like the ones in Newtown and Aurora become far more deadly when the killers use these kinds of guns.”About Mayors Against Illegal GunsSince its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to more than 800 mayors from across the country, including 204 mayors in Pennsylvania. It has more than one million grassroots supporters, making it the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation’s mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable; demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns. Learn more at www.DemandAPlan.org