Washington—The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns this week sent a letter to House and Senate leaders calling for support of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. The letter was signed by a bipartisan coalition of 886 mayors from across the country.

“It has become clear over the past several weeks that banning dangerous military-style assault weapons has overwhelming public support,” said Senator Feinstein, sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. “Recent polling has consistently recorded a majority of the public in favor of an assault weapons ban. More than 200 current and former elected officials and groups representing law enforcement officials, health care professionals, educators and clergy support the bill. And now, nearly 900 mayors have joined the effort to ban these dangerous weapons. The time to act is now.”

For more information about the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, click here. Full text of the letter follows:

February 11, 2013

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515 

Sen. Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 

RE: U.S. Mayors Call on Congress to Support Assault Weapons Ban

Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid, Leader Pelosi, and Leader McConnell:

Military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines have been at the center of some of our country’s deadliest mass shootings. Just since July, we have watched in horror as they have been used to gun down moviegoers in an Aurora theater, Sikh worshippers in an Oak Creek temple, and even young children in a Newtown elementary school. In order to prevent the next rampage and help save American lives, our nation needs clear and enforceable legislation that will take these weapons and magazines off our streets.

As the men and women who are responsible for protecting those streets, we write to urge your support for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (S. 150 / H.R. 437), introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy. Our bipartisan coalition of more than 850 U.S. mayors stands firmly behind this bill, which would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines – with some exceptions, including for law enforcement and military use, as well as for those weapons lawfully owned at the time of enactment.

In an effort to strengthen the now-expired 1994 version of the ban, this legislation would broaden the definition of “assault weapon” to prevent manufacturers from remodeling their weapons to circumvent the law. The new ban would be permanent and would require background checks for grandfathered weapons that are sold or transferred after the enactment date, including those sold or transferred by private sellers. It would also prohibit the sale and transfer of grandfathered high-capacity ammunition magazines.

These measures would go a long way toward ensuring the safety of our communities, and they enjoy the backing of a majority of Americans – including gun owners.

While military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines often play a prominent role in mass shootings, they are also a common threat in everyday incidents of gun violence that don’t always make national headlines. According to the Department of Justice, high-capacity magazines are used in 14 to 26 percent of all gun crimes and in 31 to 41 percent of fatal police shootings. As Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said in January 2011 after one of his officers was fatally ambushed by a teenager with a semiautomatic AR-15: “There are just more and more assault rifles out there, and it is becoming a bigger threat to law enforcement each day. They are outgunned.”

It’s no wonder law enforcement groups across the country support a ban on these military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCC), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

We hope you will stand up for our communities, our law enforcement officials, and our children by supporting this common-sense proposal to curb gun violence. Far too many Americans are being killed with deadly assault weapons – it’s up to you to act.

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