WHEREAS, more than 50 mayors and police chiefs met at The U.S. Conference of Mayors' Action Forum on Crime in Philadelphia August 5-6, 2008, to develop an action agenda on crime; and
WHEREAS, following that meeting a working group of mayors and police chiefs drafted a national action agenda on crime; and
WHEREAS, that national action agenda includes a series of findings and recommendations relating to gun safety; and
WHEREAS, the mayors and police chiefs found that:
- Local police and federal authorities, backed by common sense gun legislation, must be able to work together to get illegal guns off city streets; and
- Every day in the United States there are 84 deaths involving firearms; 34 of these are homicides. Well over half of these homicides - 56 percent - involve people age 29 and younger;
- Because of the prevalence of military-style assault weapons on our streets, police officers in many of our cities are outgunned; and
- Reasonable changes in laws and regulations would go a long way toward keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and providing law enforcement with tools that will help them solve crimes; and
WHEREAS, since March 2009 a string of mass shootings has occurred in cities across the nation which has left dozens dead, including seven police officers, and this epidemic serves as a stark reminder that the easy availability of guns often turns domestic and personal disputes into acts of murder; and
WHEREAS, among the cities affected are:
- Samson, AL, where 10 people were killed on March 10;
- Oakland, CA where four police officers were killed on March 21;
- Carthage, NC, where eight nursing home residents were killed on March 29;
- Santa Clara, CA, where five family members were killed March 29;
- Binghamton, NY, where 13 people were killed April 3;
- Graham, WA, where five children were killed April 4;
- Pittsburgh, PA, where three police officers were killed April 4; and
- Miami, FL, where in just a few weeks 12 members of three families were killed in three separate incidents,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors adopts as its policy the guns safety initiatives called for by the mayors and police chiefs in the National Action Agenda on Crime:
- A strengthened, effective ban on military-style assault weapons, such as AK-47s, and their component parts must be reinstated.
- Common sense gun legislation, such as that advocated by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, should be enacted. Such legislation should close the gun show loophole, keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, and no longer permit gun dealers whose licenses are revoked to conduct fire sales.
- Legislation should be enacted which would limit the number of guns a person may purchase in a single transaction or in a month or other specified period of time.
- Law enforcement agencies' access to gun trace data should not be limited in any way by either state or federal law - for example, by any version of the so-called Tiahrt amendment.
- Anyone purchasing a firearm in the United States should be required to go through a background check. Full funding should be provided for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and states should be required to submit records, including those involving persons with serious mental health problems, to the NICS.
- The Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) should be expanded to include ballistic images for all new guns, not just those involved in crimes. The federal government should support the development of new technologies, such as microstamping, which can help solve crimes.