Mayor group calls for tighter gun control laws
Posted at: 12/27/2012 9:13 PM
| Updated at: 12/27/2012 10:09 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A coalition of mayors across the nation have banded together in the wake of the Connecticut tragedy to petition the Federal government to tighten gun laws. But Albuquerque and Rio Rancho’s mayors have not signed on.
More than 750 mayors nationwide including seven in New Mexico signed onto the coalition called “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino started the coalition.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, the coalition calls for new laws that will:
- Require every gun owner to pass a criminal background check.
- Outlaw high capacity rifles and military style weapons.
- Make gun trafficking a federal crime
- Prosecute prohibited gun buyers who try to purchase firearms or high capacity magazines.
Mayors in Grants, Las Cruces, Ruidoso, Santa Fe, Tijeras, and Santa Fe have signed on to the petition. Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry was out of the city and unavailable to answer why he has not signed the petition. However, City Councilor Ken Sanchez said the state’s largest city should join this nationwide dialogue.
"I think we as a city should come together,” Sanchez said. “The mayor, the council, the police chief, and this community should discuss these issues and keeping residents in our community safer. I think we have a serious problem and we're seeing more and more of these cases take place and it has to be stopped."
Rio Rancho is the third largest city in the state. Mayor Tom Swisstack has not signed the petition either. By phone Thursday, Swisstack said he had not heard of the petition, but feels strongly that the national debate should also center on getting more help for the mentally ill and enforcing current laws.
A spokesperson for Berry said he is interested in talking about gun control with KOB Eyewitness News 4 once he returns from his holiday break with his family.