Bloomberg expands on his call for gun control action
December 17th, 2012
03:16 PM ET
9 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. Darryl

    Michael Bloomburg needs to just shup up already and let the President and congress change the gun laws. It's going to get done and soon. This tragidy has changed everything and everyone is aware if it. Bloomburg is a big mouth jew and thats all he is. If he wants to be important then he should run for POTUS and put his money where his mouth is.

    December 17, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    For all those people who say "people kill-not guns". Really? Guns DO kill people. It is a gun that is directly responsible for (that) killing. IF we weren't allowed to have guns, (as some civilized countries), millions of people would be alive today and that is the reality and a FACT. Agree with it or not, I really don't care.

    December 17, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    There are laws against drunk driving, yet people are killed every day because of drunk drivers. There are laws against drugs, yet people are killed every day in drug wars or by overdoses. New laws are not the fix here. There are no morals taught in this country anymore. Growing up, if I acted up, I got a good whooping. I was and still are ok with that as I did learn a lesson from it. Look at the generation that is responsible for these horrible things happening, then reflect back on the changes that affected them as they were growing up. Government took disciplin out of the schools, removed God and prayer from schools, therefore morals....

    December 17, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. SC from Canada

    Darryl –
    your country will need as many voices as it can muster to put pressure on the politicians who can make these changes. He has every right to voice his opinion as you do.
    Don't be naive and think this is a done deal. There will be a lot of opposition to better gun control and you will need every body to make it happen.

    December 17, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Pass GUN-CONTROL AND TALK. Second amendment is big BS for profit of NRA idiots.

    December 17, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Guest

    There are a lot of liberals who just need to shut up already! More laws wont fix this problem.

    December 17, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    "There have been over one million people shot and killed by guns since the assasination of Robert F. Kennedy." Mike Barnicle.

    December 17, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Jim

    While the gun laws do need changes, Schumer and Feinstein (two individuals who think nobody should ever have guns except them or their bodyguards) are not the two that should be conducting this kneejerk reaction. As for Bloomberg, he's mayor of a city that a lot of us avoid due to its high level of crime. Maybe he ought to keep his eye on his own city. Rational discussion, followed by better background checks ('though I might stop short of the one they put me through for a very special TS clearance) are part of the answer. The rest should be decided in some other manner than this "let's do something this instant even if it's wrong", which is the type of thing that gave us Obamacare . . . i.e. legislation that nobody read before voting.

    December 17, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Tim

    I thank Mayor Bloomberg for his articulate thoughts on this issue. Following gun massacres in Scotland and Australia, both countries immediately enacted strict gun control laws. There has not been another gun massacre in either country since. Gun homicides in Australia is now 1/6-th of what it was before the laws were passed. We have the largest number of guns per capita in the Western world, and our gun homicide rate is 19 times the average of the Western world. Enough is enough. It is time for strict gun control.

    December 17, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. The REAL Truth...

    How ironic that the Repuglicant party is pro-life (or should I be more correct and say pro-birth?), yet pro-gun at the same time! Anyone see the oxymoron?

    December 17, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Nash

    Mayor Bloomberg needs to shut up and help victims of the superstorm. This publicity hound has for the past few days been asking the President to take action. What exactly does he want the President to do? Guns are in American's DNA literally. Legislators need time to craft sensible laws and not to rush through legislation because Bloomberg wants something done. Why doesn't the mayor take his own action in New York and show the country that his proposals are sound. Justing asking for some action is the same as the President saying we need meaningful action. And just for the record, in case this politician doesn't know what the President does, the Executive branch of government does not pass or write laws. Congress does. This idiotic Mayor with all due respect should lobby congress not the President.

    December 17, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. greg Boycott

    Im not sure that any money spent on gun control would be effective. It seems money should be spent on the mental health system which is in shambles. If any of you have experienced this system you know what I'm saying. We were sent home with a bipolar patient and not told how to help him, no instruction. In fact the doctor asked me in front of the patient if i have any weapons at home. The doctor basicly reminded the patient, whom we were taking home, there is a gun at the house???? She could have brought this up privately. So all of you dont let the media cause you to jump to a wrong decision. This issue needs time and we need to take the issue of mental health in America seriously.

    December 17, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. A dude

    Why has nobody mentioned that Connecticut already has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, including an assault weapons ban? Why is nobody paying attention that the shooter was denied purchase of firearms the day before, proving the gun laws work? He was under 21. Unable to own a pistol under CT law. Instead murders and steals to obtain these weapons. We need a reevaluation of our mental health system, a civil and mature discussion on many other subjects as well. The knee jerk reactions and the blame games need to stop.

    December 17, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Mr. Bloomberg shouldn't have much to worry about. Guns are ALREADY illegal in NYC. The criminals know this. So why is he talking about guns?

    December 17, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Guest wrote:

    There are a lot of liberals who just need to shut up already! More laws wont fix this problem.
    Wanna bet? Ask the people of Chicago about the impact of the federal judge who threw out their handgun ban law. Handgun violence has exploded ever since....and most of the guns are purchased out of state, where laws are less restrictive.

    December 17, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    If anyone has ever held a gun in their hands and never thought to themselves "this gun can kill" they should probably rethink their ideology. In the wrong hands, guns do kill. It's trying to understand "who the wrong hands" are that seems to be the stumbling block. Apparently no one is willing to make that decision for themselves or others. How unfortunate. Ms Lanza no doubt was absolutely sure HER guns would never reach the wrong hands.

    December 17, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Pamela

    "Guest", you seem to think you hold the majority opinion here? While you seem to worship the 2nd amendment, you seem to have jumped right past the 1st. Let me remind you, it is called "freedom of speech". You might want to grow up and stop telling people to shut up. Perhaps some constructive ideas would be more fruitful.

    December 17, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I say that the assault weapons ban should be reinstated with the gun show loophole removed. There should be a background check no matter where or when you buy a weapon. The current laws on the books should be more strongly enforce now. I hope that all state connect the FBI & ATF data bases so that a background check is more effective.

    December 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC


    Mr. Bloomberg shouldn't have much to worry about. Guns are ALREADY illegal in NYC. The criminals know this. So why is he talking about guns?
    For decades NYC has required a special permit to carry a concealed weapon, which has been fought and overturned by special interests. The concealed weapon permit goes, uh went, above and beyond a regular gun permit.

    Arguments were made that visitors from other states should not have to respect the NYC concealed permit law....which by the way goes completely against the constitutional requirement that states must repect the laws of all other states. Imposing your state's laws within NYC is wrong.

    December 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "removed God and prayer from schools, therefore morals...."

    Yeah yeah...we heard that completely ridiculous garbledigook when Mike Huckabee blabbered it on Friday on Faux News right after the shootings. Disgusting religious agenda opportunism. Ripping up the Constitution in order to "put God back in our schools" is not going to fix anything, nor is it the only source of a moral compass.

    December 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Mike D.

    @Woman In California, ok so let me get this straight. Under your logic, its the car, not the drunk driver that kills the family of four when he crashes into them? So we should ban cars then? Start using logic instead of emotion. The events of Friday were tragic, but disarming law abiding people and allowing the mentally disturbed and criminals to have gins is not the answer.

    December 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. ghostriter

    Anonymus, yes we have drunk driving laws and yes people are still killed. But guess what? A good portion of people limit their drinking as well. Guess what else? Those that do kill folks are tried for murder.

    Speaking of which, we have laws against murder. Should we just let murder be legal as well? Or better yet, statistics show that countries without the death penalty have a lower rate of murder. Maybe we should do away with capital punishment as well.

    I'm ready when you are....

    December 17, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. bill

    The true belief of zero guns in a country that presently has some 270,000,000 guns in the hands of its people now, is something that no one has any idea of how to make happen. that is, without passing laws that will cause the law abiding to be the first to give theirs up. Of course the ones we really seek to disarm, are the group that any of these laws don't matter to anyway.. yet we are of a belief, that the bloodshed will end. I doubt that, and I'm no Quaker. When a perpetrator manages to get a prosecutor to "drop the gun charge" and they'll plead guilty to the other charges to make the case easy, who really let us down... The current gun laws on the books aren't being held to these miscreants, yet a vast number of people still believe in creating a few more laws – and that will do the trick...

    December 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. ghostriter

    Mike D, that is a stupid argument repeated on here alot.

    A car is primarily used for transportation. Guns are used to kill. So we didn't outlaw cars, we outlaws drunk driving. A common sense solution.

    Now if conservatives were told by Rush that cars were used in voting fraud, I'd bet conservatives would attempt to ban driving.

    December 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    There is absolutely no reason for anyone to have semi automatic or automatic rifles.
    They should start calling it something else besides gun control. It's not the hunters that are being targeted who use the right equipment it's the young boys who are stuck day in and day out in front of their computers playing killing games while the parents do nothing and/or help them go to gun ranges to use the real guns.
    The nra is imbedeed in the Boy Scouts like white on rice. A co worker of mine (I couldn't believe it) has a son who is now into guns because the nra gives them money to go to shooting ranges!!

    December 17, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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