On Wednesday, President Barack Obama issued 23 executive actions and is urged Americans to put pressure on Congress to pass his proposed changes, including universal background checks on gun sales, a ban military-style assault rifles and limited ammunition magazines.
In response to the President's gun control plan, the coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns issued statements from 30 mayors nationwide..
University City Mayor Shelley Welsch is a member of the coalition. She issued the following statement.
There are 33 Americans murdered with guns every day, and there's something we can do to stop the bloodshed. So why in the world would we wait? President Obama announced today that he is taking bold steps to address the epidemic of gun violence in America. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress must work together to pass common-sense measures. We cannot afford to wait for more lives to be lost.
Welsch and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay are the only local members of the coalition.
A sampling of statements from other mayors in the coalition is below:
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
“For years now, mayors in both parties have been urging Washington to act, and over the past month, our voices grew louder as our coalition grew larger. More than 100 mayors have joined our bi-partisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, bringing our total to more than 800 mayors from around the country. And more than one million Americans have signed our petition to Demand a Plan from the President and Congress. Today, it’s clear that the President and Vice-President heard us, and I want to thank them for listening. The legislative and executive actions the President endorsed today reflect our coalition’s top priorities, and we look forward to working with Congress to pass common sense legislation that will make our communities safer – for our families, our children, and our police officers.”
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino:
“In nearly 20 years as Boston’s mayor, I have watched with frustration as our government has been bullied by special interests and ignored its duty to protect our citizens from gun violence. At long last, President Obama’s historic proposal brings Washington in line with the needs of our nation, our families – and, most importantly, our children and grandchildren, who look to us believing that our streets and schools, playgrounds and movie theaters, should be places of safety and joy, not conflict and mass murder. I applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership and courage on this issue and encourage Congress to move forward with urgency. For the sake of the 33 American lives lost every day, for the sake of Newtown and too many American communities to list, it is time for a new day.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
"The President has proposed a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to gun-safety rules, and these are exactly the commonsense laws that we need as a city and a nation to help prevent the gun violence that too often plagues our communities. People throughout the country are supportive of commonsense laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and give law enforcement officials the tools they need to protect our children, our families and our neighborhoods."
Austin, TX, Mayor Lee Leffingwell:
“As a member of the over 800 mayor strong coalition of Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns, a citizen, a father and a grandfather, I applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership and courage in addressing gun violence prevention. Folks from Austin and across the country have called for stronger gun regulations, and I am thankful that real reforms will finally be enacted. I stand firmly behind our children and families, as well as our national leaders, as we move forward on this critical issue.”
Lansing, MI, Mayor Virg Bernero:
"Mayors from across America are gathered today in Washington D.C. to advocate for immediate reforms in our nation's gun laws. I am pleased to join them here in the nation's capital, and I'm deeply grateful to President Obama for his strong and decisive actions today to help us reduce gun violence in communities across America. Requiring background checks for all firearm sales is absolutely critical to stemming the tide of illegal guns in the hands of criminals. Congress should act on this and the President's other recommendations as an urgent priority."
Santa Fe, NM, Mayor Ron Coss:
"Today's announcements demonstrate tremendous progress on this issue, but we're not finished yet. We need to keep talking to our congressional representatives and encourage them to support the President and do everything in their power to protect the safety of the American people by passing sensible legislation like requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales."
Englewood, CO, Mayor Randy Penn:
"I join with over 800 mayors from both parties today in thanking the President for showing us the way forward in fixing America's broken gun laws. The President's proposals enjoy the overwhelming support of Americans - for instance, 82% of gun owners and 74% of NRA members support the President's recommendation to require a background check for every gun sale. Congress must heed the President's recommendations and pass laws that keep to the President's proposals."
Newton, MA, Mayor Setti Warren:
"We are fortunate that we have a low level of crime in my city. But until we get strong, common-sense gun laws at the national level, even the safest communities are vulnerable to the tragic consequences of gun violence. I want to thank President Obama for putting forth a comprehensive plan to end the bloodshed in our country, and I join mayors across the country in calling on Congress to act now. American lives are at stake."
Allentown, PA, Mayor Ed Pawlowski:
"Thirty-three people are murdered by guns every day. The president has taken the first step, but how many more Americans must die before Congress follows suit? Congress can save countless lives by closing the private sale loophole and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."