Philadelphia, March 28, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter called on Congress to require comprehensive and enforceable background checks as part of the National Day to Demand Action at an event in North Philadelphia. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in conjunction with Organizing for Action, Americans for Responsible Solutions and other groups supporting background checks, organized more than 100 similar events and petition drives targeted at members of Congress while they are home during the Easter/Passover recess. The goal is to urge representatives to support commonsense gun laws like comprehensive and enforceable background checks.
“The single most effective thing we can do to get guns out of the hands of criminals is to require comprehensive and enforceable background checks,” said Mayor Nutter. “That means making sure that people who buy guns in private sales are checked, and the gun store that conducts the check keeps a record of the sale in case the gun is traced from a crime. Background checks are the only systematic way to stop felons, domestic abusers and people with severe mental illnesses from buying firearms. These checks are instantaneous and highly effective.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said, “Background checks are already required for sales at licensed gun shops. Dealers are already required to keep a record of the sale. Why can’t we hold private sellers to the same standards? The guns they sell are no less deadly than the guns sold by licensed dealers.”
The National Day to Demand Action brought together hundreds of mayors, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, gun violence survivors and family members, and other Americans who want Congress to take immediate action to strengthen the background check system and reduce gun violence. The day is expected to be the largest gun violence advocacy event in history and is part of the largest field campaign in U.S. history to address gun violence.
In addition to the National Day to Demand Action, the bipartisan coalition is also airing ads demanding that political leaders take action to pass commonsense gun reforms in key states during the upcoming Congressional recess, including in Pennsylvania. Ads can be found at www.demandaction.org/recessads.
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to more than 900 mayors from across the country. The organization has have more than 1.4 million grassroots supporters, making it the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor 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.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org.