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Mike Bloomberg on Gun Control

Mayor of New York City (Independent)


80% of NRA members support background checks

Q: 100 days after the Newtown massacre, the assault weapons ban has been taken out of the Senate bill. Here's what you said right after Newtown:

[Video] BLOOMBERG: The NRA's power is so vastly overrated. The public want to stop this carnage. And if 20 kids isn't enough to convince them, I don't know what would.[End]

Q: Do you fear that the moment that was created by Newtown has been lost?

BLOOMBERG: It would be a great tragedy if it is lost. I am cautiously optimistic. You have an issue where 90% of the public, 80% of NRA members even, say that they think we should have reasonable checks before people are allowed to buy guns--they all support the 2nd Amendment, as do I. But we have to stop the carnage.

Do you think the assault weapons ban is going to pass?

BLOOMBERG: We've been fighting since 2007 to get a vote. And if we were to [pass] background checks only, it wouldn't be as good as if we got both, but we're going to get the vote for sure on assault weapons.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 24, 2013

Background checks do work, and should be highest priority

Q: It looks like Congress won't ban assault weapons, but might get better background checks on the sale of these weapons.

BLOOMBERG: The truth of the matter is only about 400 people a year get killed with assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. That is 400 too many, but you compare that to handguns, pistols, this year, are going to kill 12,000 Americans. There are 14 states that have background checks required for all sales. 14 states have closed the federal loophole, and in those 14 states the suicide rate is half the national average and the number of women that get killed in domestic violence is 40% less than in other states. So background checks do work.

Q: Why is it so hard to get the Congress to do it?

BLOOMBERG: Because, up until now, it has only been the NRA that has been talking about guns to the public & to Congress. And I'm trying to level the playing field and bring out the facts. The truth of the matter is the NRA itself, a few years ago, was in favor of background checks.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 10, 2013

2006: Created Mayors Against Illegal Guns; now 600 mayors

In 2006, Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg created Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition that advocates for stricter gun-control laws and now includes more than 600 mayors from 40 states. Menino touted the Boston's recent success in this area, telling reporters that police have taken more than 360 illegal guns off the streets.
Source: Alex Katz in Boston Globe, "Stricter Checks" , Nov 15, 2011

Sued out-of-state gun dealers for selling illegally in NYC

Building on his first term, Bloomberg broadened his scope and once again thought big and bold. He sued out-of-state gun dealers, accusing them of illegally selling handguns that were later used to commit crimes in NYC. He did battle against weak federal gun laws, created a national coalition of mayors to fight illegal weapons -useful to raise awareness, although really effective gun control demands national legislation.

His suits were often settled and drew the fury of the National Rifle Association, whose magazine pictured the mayor as a menacing octopus and held a "Bloomberg Gun Giveaway" to help dealers pay the legal fees defending against Bloomberg's lawsuits. His demonization by the NRA was priceless in liberal NY.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p.158-159 , Sep 28, 2010

Enact common-sense measures to keep guns away from criminals

Gillibrand used to irritate liberals. On the day she was appointed to the Senate, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked her opposition to gun control: "She has actively opposed the efforts of New York City, and cities around the state and nation, to enact common-sense measures that keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. For instance, she has voted to keep critical data needed to track illegal gun traffickers from law enforcement, has voted to tie the hands of the ATF, and has also voted to protect dealers who sell guns illegally."

But as a new senator, Gillibrand was transformed from a rabid opponent of gun control--with a 100% rating from the National Rifle Association--to a cosponsor of gun control legislation. In 2007, she had sponsored a bill to delete background check information after twenty-four hours; now she suddenly voted to repeal her very own bill.

Source: Take Back America, by Dick Morris, p.183 , Apr 13, 2010

Put the issue of illegal guns back on the national agenda

This year, we’ll also use technology to fight the #1 public safety threat in our city--and in all cities: illegal guns. Our bi-partisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns has put the issue of illegal guns back on the national agenda--beating back federal legislation that would have made it easier to traffic in illegal guns. Convincing the federal ATF to release some of the critical trace data our officers need to track the flow of guns across state lines.
Source: 2008 State of the City Address , Jan 17, 2008

2nd Amendment doesn’t prevent keeping guns from criminals

Illegal guns is an example of cities leading where Washington has not. Those in Washington prefer talk to action. On illegal guns, they extol the virtues of the Second Amendment, but let’s get serious: protecting the Second Amendment does not stop you from keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. It’s just a political duck-and-cover that allows legislators to escape responsibility for fixing a serious problem and innocent people--and police officers--are dying as a result.
Source: Keynote Address to the US Conference of Mayors , Nov 2, 2007

Founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Bloomberg is a strong advocate of gun control and made it a major issue of his administration in his second inaugural address. Bloomberg once said, “I don’t know why people carry guns. Guns kill people.” Bloomberg is also a co-chair and founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization of 210 mayors who claim to work only towards eradicating the use of illegal firearms by criminals.
Source: Wikipedia.org entry, “Michael_Bloomberg” , May 2, 2007

It’s not about gun control, it’s about crime control

Every day, nearly 30 people are murdered in the US. We ask ourselves, what can be done to stop this kind of gun violence? As mayor, I have asked myself that question many times. In NYC, we’ve cut murders by 40%. The fact is that most crimes are committed with illegal weapons--and that is where the new gun debate is, or at least should be, centered. In New York, we aggressively go after these guns, but no city can stop the flow of illegal firearms alone. These are national problems that require national leadership.

Unfortunately, in recent years, combating gun crime hasn’t been a priority of this Justice Department or Congress. Most gun dealers follow the law and run honest businesses. But the statistics show that 1% of dealers sell more than half of all illegal guns. Why isn’t the federal government going after them?

There’s common ground on this issue for anyone who is willing to look at it honestly, not ideologically. This isn’t about gun control. It’s about crime control.

Source: By Michael Bloomberg in Newsweek: “The Changing Gun Debate” , Apr 30, 2007

Sued New York City gun dealers to control guns

Bloomberg supports gun control, has raised taxes, backs same-sex marriage and signed a law banning the use of trans fats in fast-food restaurants. The mayor once filed suit on behalf of the city against two dozen gun dealers.
Source: Michael D. Shear, Washington Post, p. A1 , Mar 25, 2007

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Other big-city mayors on Gun Control: Mike Bloomberg on other issues:

Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
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Page last updated: Mar 16, 2014