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Dec 19, 2012 :  Mayor's Against Illegal Guns

Dear President Obama,

On Friday, December 14th the entire nation watched as parents stood outside the Sandy Hook Elementary School and waited, desperately hoping to be reunited with their children. That moment will never end for the families of the 20 children and six adults who were murdered that day at the school.

As mayors, we are charged with keeping our communities safe. But too many of us have sat with mothers and fathers of children killed with guns. Twenty-four children enrolled in public schools in your hometown of Chicago were shot to death just last year.

At the moving memorial service on Sunday evening, you said: “If there is even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that has visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that – then surely we have an obligation to try.”

Our bipartisan coalition of more than 750 mayors has joined forces with over 700,000 Americans and more than 100 survivors of deadly shootings, including the mass shootings you mentioned in your remarks. Together, we urge you to put forward an agenda that is rooted in common sense and that will make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them. That agenda should:

  • Require every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check
  • Get high capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off our streets

Those ideas require action by Congress, but there steps you and your Administration could and should take immediately to curb gun violence:

  • Appoint an ATF director
  • Prosecute prohibited purchasers who attempt to buy firearms, ammunition or high capacity magazines
  • Require federal agencies to report records to NICS
  • Repeal remaining Tiahrt restrictions

In the past few days, the American people came together in a national outpouring of grief and sympathy for the families of victims slain in the mass shooting in Newtown. We share in that grief. But our constituents are also outraged and looking for leadership from the White House.

We look forward to working with you to find a solution to gun violence in our country.

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