Bloomberg expands on his call for gun control action
December 17th, 2012
03:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Bloomberg expands on his call for gun control action

(CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate for increased gun control measures, on Monday added specifics to his calls for "immediate national action from the president and Congress" in the wake of Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

"The time for talk is over. Congress and the White House [have] to come up with something that stops this carnage no matter what the political ramifications are," Bloomberg said. "Somehow or other, we've come to think that getting reelected is more important than saving lives, that political power is more important than saving lives, that partisan politics is more important than saving lives. Enough."

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Bloomberg leads the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns and said the nearly three dozen people joining him at Monday's press conference were survivors of gun violence and family members of victims.

He called for Congress to pass an assault weapons ban "that isn't riddled with loopholes and easy evasion." The ban passed in 1994 expired ten years later and was never renewed.

"Congress should also ban the high capacity magazines that have been used again and again in these mass shootings," he said. "These weapons and ammunition can be used to kill large numbers of people quickly and regulating them certainly falls within the bounds of the second amendment."

Officials said the gunman in the school shooting used a semi-automatic weapon and went through several 30-round magazines.

Bloomberg called for Congress to pass the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would further incentivize states to require background checks before gun purchases, require colleges to institute a mental health assessment plan for their students, and strengthens certain requirements of the Brady gun control act.

Its primary sponsors include Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, both of New York. Her husband was among six people killed in a 1993 mass shooting.

He also called for a federal measure to outlaw gun trafficking. "This legislative package would make it harder for criminals, drug abusers, minors, and the mentally ill to get guns and harder for them to inflict the level of carnage we saw this week," Bloomberg said.

To not act, he said, would be a "stain upon our nation's commitment to protecting the innocent including our children."

President Barack Obama said at a vigil for the victims and families Sunday night that he would use "whatever power this office holds … in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this," and hours after the shooting called for "meaningful action" on the issue. Obama was elected on a platform which included reinstating the assault weapon ban but has since put his weight behind other legislative priorities.

While waiting for action on Capitol Hill, Bloomberg urged Obama to act immediately by increasing prosecution, such as of gun purchasers who falsify background check documents, as well as streamline background check bureaucracy and advance a permanent - rather than interim– director of the firearms bureau.

The mayor did not say when asked if he would put his personal fortune behind his efforts but said he would "do what I think is appropriate" on the issue.

"I think it should be illegal to have a weapon whose only purpose is to kill large numbers of people. I think it should be illegal to sell bullets whose only purpose is to pierce armored vests," Bloomberg said at the press conference. "The last time I saw a deer wearing an armored vest was a long time ago. Those bullets are designed to kill police officers - that's all they're designed for. That should be illegal."

Filed under: Gun rights • Michael Bloomberg • New York
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. james

    Bloomberg is very hypocritical. He says he is against guns but let's all his rich buddies have gun permits in NYC....Disgusting.

    December 17, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    @ Mike D.

    disarming law abiding people and allowing the mentally disturbed and criminals to have gins is not the answer.

    The events on Friday really have nothing to do with my "emotions", as I totally refused to watch ANY coverage at all this weekend. Law abiding people as you call them, should not have guns. None of us should. That is MY opinion. No guns = no gun violence. End of story.

    December 17, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Juan

    Do not be fooled into thinking more laws can fix this. Do research on armed crime in England and Australia after they passed extremely restrictive gun control laws. Everything got worse! Violent crime jumped up, armed robberies jumped up, home invasions jumped up. Did prohibition end alcohol consumption in the US? No, It created the mob, and made crime even worse. Did the school gun-free zone stop this crime? No, It encouraged it, he knew no one would be armed in that school. Please look at history before you are so eager to beg the government for more laws, and to take away your rights.


    December 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. wesker

    How about this..Republicans agree to ban high capacity magazines and so called assualt weapons and Democrats agree to allow a nationwide concealed carry permit for small self defense guns. Ohhh..but that would never happen because it makes too much sense. The Republicans will never give up on the imagined need for AR15's and AK's and the Dems will never allow competent citizens the right to defend themselves with a 6 shot .380.

    December 17, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Gregory M. Newbold

    America has a short attention spans and Congress is filled with self-serving cowards. Mike Bloomberg`s "calls" are all well and good but ignore this reality. If Congress didn`t have the convivtion to act after ONE OF ITS OWN [Gabby Giffords] was gunned down, THeY NEVER WILL.

    Bloomberg needs to fund a localized effort, at the state level, to restrict guns and ammo [including the ability to transport, carry, conceal the gun or purchase, practice with, store "high capacity magazines" or more than 30 total rounds of ammo. He needs to be the "Chales Koch" of Gun Control. Just as Koch has sought to supress votes on a state by state basis, to attack abortion on a stste by state basis, so too should Bloomberg.

    December 17, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. rw

    For those people saying that gun laws won't work, are you aware that you can't go to the store and buy an RPG or a cluster bomb. Why not? don't we have a right to defend ourselves? Some weapons are simply meant to kill people, nothing else. An RPG could probably kill a dear but you don't hunt with it. There is already a line drawn but it just isn't drawn far enough. Keep your handgun for self defense but a gun that shoots 600 rounds per minute is totally unneccessary and detrimental to society, just ask the people of Newtown, Aurora, Blacksburg...

    December 17, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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