FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2004
STATEMENT BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON EXTENSION OF ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today repeated their call to Congress to extend the Assault Weapons Ban. They joined with Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn, who will read the following statement by Mayor Bloomberg at a news conference in Los Angeles.
"Just as New York City is enjoying a sustained period of declining crime, including a 71% reduction in homicides, along comes an enticement to the criminals to reverse our fortune. No one needs an Uzi for duck hunting or an MP5 to shoot a deer. Hunters don't need them. Neither do skeet shooters. Only the military or in some cases the police, have reason to carry assault weapons. There is no good reason to legalize assault weapons for the general population. It's one thing for Congress to shortchange New York City on the funding it needs to protect itself, but quite another to help criminals arm themselves for an assault on civilized society. Simply put, these weapons can unleash instant carnage on our nation's streets.
"Unless Congress acts, the Assault Weapons Ban will expire on Monday, September 13, only three days from today. Under the ban, the proportion of banned assault weapons traced to crimes has dropped by 66% since 1995, according to the Department of Justice. Congress needs to act immediately to bring about the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons Ban. I strongly urge all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to vote for its passage before the ban expires.
"I urge enactment of a reauthorization for the same weapons and for the same period of time: another 10 years. President Bush supports such a straightforward reauthorization -- and so does my Administration."
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, "Assault weapons are designed to kill people; they have no legitimate civilian purpose."
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (NYPD)
Shannon Murphy (Mayor Hahn) (213) 978-0606