Five Pennsylvania mayors have joined in on a movement demanding that Congress take immediate action to prevent gun violence. In a PSA featuring a total of 30 mayors from across the nation, released yesterday, March 7 by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a transition was made from requesting a plan to demanding action.
This call for action follows a new poll released earlier this week by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which shows are overwhelming amount of support from citizens for background checks for all gun sales. The average support for background checks for all gun sales among 41 congressional district polls was 89 percent; the average among 21 statewide polls was 86 percent.
Mayors featured in the PSA include (in order of appearance):
- Mayor Thomas Menino - Boston
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg- South Bend, IN
- Mayor Michael Nutter- Philadelphia
- Mayor Jim Suttle- Omaha, NE
- Mayor R.T. Rybak- Minneapolis, MN
- Mayor David Coss- Santa Fe, NM
- Mayor Paul Dyster- Niagara Falls, NY
- Mayor Sal Panto- Easton, PA
- Mayor John Linder- Chester, PA
- Mayor Helene Schneider- Santa Barbara, CA
- Mayor Craig Lowe- Gainesville, FL
- Mayor Ed Pawlowski- Allentown, PA
- Mayor Brenda Lawrence- Southfield, MI
- Mayor Pedro Segarra- Hartford, CT
- Mayor Linda Thompson- Harrisburg, PA
- Mayor Ed Lee- San Francisco
- Mayor Miro Weinberger- Burlington, VT
- Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt- Chapel Hill, NC
- Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson- Gary, IN
- Mayor Joy Cooper- Hallandale Beach, FL
- Mayor Virgil Bernero- Lansing, MI
- Mayor Christopher Cabaldon- West Sacramento, CA
- Mayor Rick Gray- Lancaster, PA
- Mayor Mike Ryan- Sunrise, FL
- Mayor Joseph Riley- Charleston, SC
- Mayor Bill Bell- Durham, NC
- Mayor Jonathan Mitchell- New Bedford, MA
- Mayor Beth Talabisco- Tamarac, FL
- Mayor Gloria Chavez- Tijeras, NM
- Mayor Michael Bloomberg- New York City
The PSA marks a transition in the coalition's campaign from demanding a plan to demanding that Congress take action to pass legislation to require background checks for all sales, limit military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and make gun trafficking a federal crime. The bipartisan coalition now includes more than 900 mayors from 45 states and more than 1.4 million grassroots supporters.
Under current federal law, only licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct background checks on potential buyers. And in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a person who holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon can purchase a gun at anytime without an additional background check or waiting period. The ease of obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon in the Commonwealth and the “privilege” of waiving a waiting period is cause for concern.
But the focus of demand for action centers at the federal level. Approximately 40 percent of U.S. gun transfers are conducted by unlicensed "private sellers" who are not required to conduct a federal background check, this equates to about 6.6 million guns being transferred in the U.S. every year with no background check for the buyer. See where Pennsylvania and other states rank in the background check gap at http://www.demandaction.org/fatalgaps.
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