FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2013
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES PRESIDENT OBAMA'S COMPREHENSIVE PROPOSALS TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE
The President’s Proposals Represent the Common-Sense Reforms the Mayor has been Seeking for Years
The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered at City Hall this afternoon:
“Well good afternoon, everyone. I just wanted to take a few moments to say how encouraged I was to hear that the White House is backing a bold and comprehensive plan to tackle gun violence.
“As you know, for years now, mayors in both parties from across this country have been urging Washington to act. And over the past month, our voices grew louder as our coalition grew larger. Sadly that increase was prompted by a terrible tragedy in Connecticut, as we know, but the only thing we can do for those who died is to try to do everything we can to prevent similar situations in the future – make this a better world and a better country.
“More than 100 mayors have joined our bipartisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns since that terrible tragedy, bringing our total to more than 800 mayors from around the country. And more than one million Americans have signed our petition, Demand a Plan – you can get it at DemandAPlan.org – our petition for the President and Congress to act.
“Today, it’s clear that the President and Vice President heard us, and they heard the American people. The vast majority of Americans support common sense gun regulations, and clearly the White House was listening. I’ve always thought that democracy really works. It’s the public’s responsibility, however, to express themselves and to say what they need. And if they do that, and if they do it respectfully and clearly and repetitively, democracy will give them what is best for this country.
“On the legislative side, we asked for background checks for all gun sales – and that is in the President’s plan. We asked for restrictions on military-style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines – and that’s there as well. We asked for tougher penalties for gun traffickers – it’s in there.
“On the Executive side, we urged to him appoint an ATF director, increase prosecutions of those who lie on background checks, direct Federal agencies to fill in the gaps of the background check data system, and remove restrictions on gun violence data and research. And the President is doing all of those things.
“I want to thank both President Obama and Vice President Biden for standing up and supporting these common-sense steps – and now the hard work really begins.
“I will be going to Washington, as many of you know, on Friday to meet with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, many of whom are members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In the days and weeks ahead, all of us will be urging members of Congress to seize this moment, stand up for our children and our communities, and stand up in particular for our police officers.
“We will work to explain to members on both sides of the aisle why it is in the interest of their constituents and in their interest, and we’re going to continue to need New Yorkers and Americans to keep explaining to members of Congress just how important this is.
“In all the time I’ve been working on this issue, there has never been greater public support for common sense gun laws – and it’s up to all of us to make sure that Congress hears that.
“I’ll be happy to take a few questions on gun violence now before we turn to the bus strike.”
Marc La Vorgna/John J. McCarthy (212) 788-2958
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