Published: Jan 14, 2013 02:50 PM
Modified: Jan 14, 2013 02:51 PM
DURHAM - The mayors of Chapel Hill, Durham and Morrisville called Monday for Congress to enact “common-sense” gun-law reforms.
They were among more than 800 U.S. mayors who issued a coordinated statement on behalf of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns lobbying organization.
Their statement called for:
• Requiring criminal background checks for all gun buyers;
• Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines;
• Making gun trafficking a federal crime.
They also showed a television ad sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns that features relatives of gun-violence victims calling on Congress to curb firearm violence.
Uma Loganathan of Blacksburg, Va., whose father was killed in the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and appears in the ad, joined the mayors in Durham.
“We are better than this,” she said.
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said the measures are “simple reforms we ... have been calling for for some time.” He spoke along with Mayor Bill Bell of Durham and Mayor Jackie Holcombe of Morrisville.
“What we are talking about respects the Second Amendment,” said Holcombe. “But we do need decisive action from Congress and we need it soon.”
Bell, who has made reducing gun violence a city priority, said, “As a country we have known some of the solutions. ... But Congress has repeatedly failed to take the necessary steps.”
The statement was issued one month after the Newtown, Conn., shootings that killed 20 children and six adults.
“Newtown is just the latest in a long line (of) unspeakable violence,” Kleinschmidt said.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino are co-chairmen of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was established in 2006.