Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that he and his administration is stepping up the pressure on the issue of "gun control." Mayor Emanuel is now asking commercial and investment banks to demonstrate their support for gun safety laws.
He is asking them to refrain from offering financial services – including lines of credit, financing for acquisitions and expansions, capital raising services and financial advising – to any gun manufacturers that oppose commonsense reforms.
What Mayor Emanuel wants is support for universal criminal background checks and a ban on military-style weapons.
“These institutions have a responsibility to stand up against an industry that manufactures and sells assault weapons that end up on America’s streets. It’s time for the financial industry to join the fight against assault weapons and military-style magazines, and support commonsense reforms, including requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Doing business with gun manufacturers might benefit the banks’ bottom line, but they put our police officers, our children, and our communities at risk.”
Mayor Emanuel is sending a letter today to the chief executives of Bank of America and TD Bank. Both financial institutions are known to do business with gun manufacturers who are actively lobbying against safety reforms. The mayor is asking the banks to refrain from providing services until gun manufacturers embrace criminal background checks on all gun sales, support a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and join in asking gun stores to crack down on traffickers of firearms.
Robin Kelly, the leading candidate for United States Congress in Illinois 2nd district to replace Jesse Jackson Jr., was pleased with Mayor Emanuel's actions. Robin Kelly is the only major candidate in this Feb. 26 special election with an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA).
In response to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's actions, Robin Kelly told the Chicago City Hall Examiner and the National News White House Examiner, that she "applauds the ongoing efforts to stem gun violence in Chicago, as well as those of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. I am committed to being a partner in their fight when I get to Congress."
Robin Kelly was President Toni Preckwinkle's Chief Administrative Officer and worked with President Preckwinkle to reduce gun violence. In that vein, President Preckwinkle on Tuesday named seven individuals to the County’s Violence Prevention, Intervention, and Reduction Advisory Committee.
The advisory committee is tasked with studying and making recommendations regarding a gun court in Cook County, and advising the President Obama's Justice Advisory Council on how to appropriate $2 million in anti-violence funds, including efforts to crack down on straw purchases.
Last week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle introduced an ordinance to the Cook County Board of Commissioners that would require gun owners to report the loss, theft, destruction or transfer of firearms.
That ordinance will require individuals who lose, destroy, transfer or have their firearm stolen in the County, to report it to the Sheriff’s Office within 48 hours. Individuals who fail to comply will be subject to a $1,000 fine for the first violation. Owners will be required to report the make, model and serial number of the firearm, along with the date and location of purchase.
Mayor Emanuel has also introduced an ordinance to strengthen Chicago’s gun laws and is supporting state and federal safety legislation.
At the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Washington DC earlier this week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on city leaders from the across country to follow Chicago’s lead and sever all ties with companies that manufacture or sell assault weapons.
“Mayors from across the country have firsthand knowledge of the damage these weapons cause in our communities, and there is no return on investment great enough to justify supporting the weapons manufacturers or dealers,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I’m encouraging every city leader to ask their pension and retirement fund managers to determine if they have invested in a company that manufactures or sells assault weapons and ask them to remove these investments from their funds, just as we are doing in Chicago.”
Last week, Mayor Emanuel ordered a portfolio analysis from the five pension and retirement funds for Chicago employees to determine if fund managers hold underlying debt or equity positions in companies that manufacture or sell assault weapons as the first step towards removing these companies from the investment plans.
In addition, this week, the Chicago Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF) board voted to divest more than $1 million from three companies that manufacture assault weapons – Freedom Group, Smith and Wesson and Sturm Ruger. Other cities, including Los Angeles and Philadelphia have followed suit.
The Mayor called on Chicago’s sister agencies – the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Park District – to conduct the same review. The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), which has $9.5 billion in assets, already voted to divest its investments with gun manufacturing companies.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books . John has volunteered for many political campaigns and is currently an unpaid volunteer for the Robin Kelly for Congress campaign and has a facebook fan page.