FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS COALITION OF DURING WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, October 8, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Over the past few weeks, the papers have been full of headlines about horrific school shootings in rural Pennsylvania, suburban Colorado, and Wisconsin. As New Yorkers, even though we live in the safest big city in the nation, we understand the tragic consequences of gun violence, and we share the grief felt by these communities. But we also share with them a responsibility to do everything we can to prevent more tragedies from occurring.
"That's why in April of this year, we brought 14 mayors from around the nation to New York for a summit on illegal guns. We discussed common challenges, and we pledged to begin working together to create a united front against illegal guns - and to enlist other mayors in the effort. I'm glad to say that across the country, mayors from cities large and small have risen to the challenge.
"A few days ago, we announced that our coalition has grown to more than 100 mayors - representing more than 42 million people… in 44 different states. Some are Republicans, some are Democrats, and some are independents. But all of us have put partisan politics aside because all of us are committed to ridding our cities of the plague of illegal guns.
"Here in New York City, we've taken some important steps to do that. In July, I signed four bills into law that include tough new measures that will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, prevent under-the-table sales, and require those convicted of a gun crime to be monitored by the NYPD after they have been released from prison.
"We also convinced the state legislature to pass a bill increasing prison sentences for illegal possession of a loaded gun. It used to be that many people got off with just probation; now, they'll get 3 ½ years behind bars - no exceptions. At the same time, we've increased police enforcement, which has led to a 14% increase in gun arrests this year.
"We're doing everything we can to crack down on illegal guns in our city, but to stop them from flowing onto our streets in the first place, we need to reach across state lines. Amazingly, about 90% of guns used in crimes in our City are purchased out of state.
That's why I went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week with a bi-partisan delegation of mayors to push for tougher protections against the sale and possession of illegal guns. And it's why earlier this year, we filed suit in federal court against 15 gun dealers in five states that sold guns illegally and whose guns were used in more than 500 crimes in our City.
"The fact is, the gun laws of one state affect the people of all the others. Illegal guns are a national problem that requires national leadership - and if Congress won't lead, our bi-partisan coalition of mayors will. After all, mayors are the ones who citizens hold accountable for fighting crime and we are the ones who must protect our police officers. This is not about the 2nd Amendment; our coalition includes strong 2nd Amendment supporters. This is about one thing and one thing only: fighting crime by keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.
"In the weeks and months ahead, our coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns will continue working together to make our cities safer places to live and work - and go to school. If you'd like to learn more about our coalition, visit our new web site: www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address