For Immediate Release
U.S. Mayors, Police Chiefs, Religious Leaders to Converge on Washington September 9thAs school year begins, Congress urged by local leaders and law enforcement officials to enact sensible gun laws
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Answering the call of U.S. Conference of Mayors President and Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, scores of Mayors and Police Chiefs have pledged to join Mayor Webb in Washington, DC on September 9th, to urge members of Congress to enact meaningful gun safety legislation. The Mayors and police chiefs will meet with members of Congress the day after Congress' return from their August recess. A Senate-House conference committee is expected to consider gun control reforms upon their return to Capitol Hill.
The day will begin with a kick-off event in the White House with President Clinton, immediately followed by a rally on the steps of the Capitol, and meetings with members of Congress to urge passage of meaningful gun control legislation in this session. On the same day, the National Council of Churches has agreed to encourage its membership to organize a national one-hour noon-time prayer vigil in communities throughout the nation to pray for victims of gun violence and to pray for Congress to listen to the wishes of the American people.
"As the children of America are returning for the fall semester, schools are holding intruder drills, installing security cameras and metal detectors and hiring armed guards - all of which are a grim reminder of what occurred at Columbine High School less the six months ago, "Mayor Wellington Webb said. "The mayors and police chiefs of American cities are responsible for the safety of their citizens. We want our congressional representatives to understand that sensible gun control legislation is wanted and is necessary to stop the proliferation of guns and the resulting violence that is occurring on the streets and in the schools of our communities."
At the 67th Annual Conference of Mayors in New Orleans this past June, the Conference adopted strong policies reconfirming Mayors' support for a comprehensive package of gun safety provisions, including closing the gun show loophole by requiring background checks by non-licensed dealers; banning the importation of large capacity (more than ten rounds) ammunition "clips," which are already banned from domestic production; and requiring that child safety locks be provided with every handgun sold in the United States.
The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.