FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NLC Backs President Obama’s Strong Action on Gun Violence

January 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - The National League of Cities (NLC) President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale, AZ, released the following statement in response to President Obama's proposed plans for reducing gun violence:

"While we focus on the devastating tragedies like Aurora, Tucson and Newtown, we must also recognize and respond to the gun violence that is an all too common occurrence in our nation's cities and towns. Families across this nation are haunted by the memories of loved ones lost and the nation needs to act to stop this preventable epidemic.

"The actions and ideas shared by President Obama today speak to the comprehensive effort necessary to reduce gun violence across our country. Further, we believe the President is correct in not waiting for Congress to act by using his powers of Executive Order to begin safeguarding the lives of our citizens immediately.

"NLC has long supported comprehensive efforts to prevent gun violence. While we respect the Second Amendment rights of every American, we also know that with rights come responsibilities. NLC believes that reducing gun violence must go beyond just reducing the number of guns and must also include access to mental health care services.

"We echo the Administration's call for legislation reinstating the ban on assault weapons, requiring universal background checks on gun purchases and a new federal gun trafficking law.

"Additionally, we support the following provisions as part of a comprehensive proposal to reduce gun violence:

  • the registration of all handguns and the licensing of all firearms owners; 
  • a ban on automatic weapons, and armor piercing bullets (except for military purposes); 
  • a 30 day waiting period for the purchase and transfer of all firearms; 
  • the engagement of the Centers for Disease Control in an effort to understand the mental health aspects of gun violence; 
  • expansion of funding for mental health services through the Affordable Care Act;
  • mandatory sentences for the use of firearms in the commission of a crime; 
  • federal funding for local crime prevention programs that address gun violence; and 
  • a requirement that all firearms dealers be licensed by the federal government and be in full compliance with all state and local laws; 
  • the lifting of federal laws that limit the federal government's ability to share "trace data" and other firearms data with local governments; and 
  • the option for states, cities and towns to adopt stricter standards and rules regarding the purchase, storage and possession of firearms. 

"The consequences loom large with innocent lives and the public safety of our communities at stake. It is imperative that lawmakers across the country push for these laws and regulations in order to provide the utmost safety to our citizens."

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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