Bloomberg: Biden no 'shrinking violet' on gun control
January 7th, 2013
05:32 PM ET
10 years ago

Bloomberg: Biden no 'shrinking violet' on gun control

(CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a vocal proponent of tighter gun laws, confirmed Monday he was advising Vice President Joe Biden's task force to help curb gun violence.

"What we've got to do first is try to do everything we can to help Joe Biden," Bloomberg said at a press conference in New York. "We sent some of the people down to Washington, and we had some people on the phone to give Joe Biden our ideas."

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Bloomberg detailed his recommendations, saying he's pushing for criminal background checks on all gun sales, not just at gun dealers. He's also calling for better enforcement of current checks and criticized the system for being too simplistic.

"The whole thing takes about 90 seconds. You type in the name, you hit the 'Go' button and bang, back it comes and says 'yes' or 'no.' Costs next to nothing," he said. "It would be very easy for private transactions."

He further urged the renewal of a federal assault weapons ban, similar to the one enacted in 1994 but expired in 2004. Bloomberg pointed out that Biden was a lead senator on the bill.

"I think all of us know that Joe Biden is not a shrinking violet, particularly when it comes to crime and the gun problem in this country and the number of murders," Bloomberg said.

The independent mayor, who leads the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has been a top voice in the firearms rights debate. He has forcefully called on lawmakers to change current laws, despite the political consequences they may face.

Nearly a dozen new gun bills were introduced on the first day of Congress last week, as lawmakers followed up on calls for stricter regulations in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting last month that left 27 killed, including the gunman's mother at her home. More bills are scheduled to be proposed.

Days after the massacre, President Barack Obama appointed Biden to lead an effort that would result in recommendations to prevent another mass shooting. The president gave the group a deadline of "no later than January."

Coming out with its own solution, the National Rifle Association is lobbying for a plan that would equip every school with an armed guard. Other ideas thrown into the mix–from both sides of the aisle–include a stronger focus on mental health issues and better security systems at schools.

Bloomberg also reiterated a sense of urgency Monday by asking the president to make a recess appointment to fill the director's slot at the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau, which has had a vacancy in the top leadership position for six years.

Furthermore, Bloomberg emphasized a need to make gun trafficking a felony.

"If you break the law, you should answer to the law," he said. "This is not a kid's game."

– CNN's Steve Brusk and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gun rights • Joe Biden • Michael Bloomberg • New York
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. undead

    Good idea, lets make more laws and harsher punishments. It's working so well for drugs after all. We should make it against the law to kill people, because that will stop someone from doing it...Oh wait we did. There are several thousand gun laws in effect already and they didn't stop the murder of those children.
    Increase paperwork, increase taxes and pass whatever law will help you sleep at night. In the end you can not escape the truth. That thieves don't care, that murderers don't care and that rapists don't care. Evil people will always find a way to meet their goals. Go to the FBI website and look at what kills people in this country the most, when you get to the bottom you can see those caused by guns. Before you get too excited about the number, realize that almost all of those are from gangs who also disobey the law.
    So enjoy pretending that a hunk of metal has a mind of its own, that the number of bullets you can hold will affect the number of people killed and forgetting the fact that the worst school shooting in our history was with a bolt action rifle and explosives.

    January 7, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Brain

    As usual, musical seats.

    The guy who gets the last seat is the guy with the gun. That is just unfair. The last seat should go to whomever deserves it naturally. Natural law should take precedent. Since not all humans are built like fighting machines, guns give everyone a fair advantage. Now lets talk firepower. If my firepower is strong than yours, we are back to the unfair argument.

    Everything in this world should be free.

    January 7, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It needs to be clear that weapons should be better regulated. I think that the 2nd amendment is really talking about groups being in control of the weapons rather than individuals.

    January 7, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. Corey

    Can't believe action has not been more immediate on the part of the federal government. When 20 innocent children are shot to death in an elementary school, the status quo is clearly not working. We need change, and we need it NOW.

    January 8, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  5. Racemunki

    Soooooo, the NRA's Einstein idea is to turn the nations schools into educational prisons? So what happens if the armed school guard is having a bad day? Put an armed guard to watch the armed guard? I don't have any issue with owning a firearm legally, but that is the "STUPIDIST IDEA" in the history of STUPID IDEA'S!!

    January 8, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  6. Kp

    Guns are needed. All you gun grabbers can get lost. Guns are here to stay. If they try to take americas guns, there will be a civil was.

    January 8, 2013 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  7. Name lynn

    that mayor in new york need to put that mike down an shut up binden is a grown man these leaders is crazy when the get a lil authority just sit down an have a meeting an compromise with each others

    January 8, 2013 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  8. Steve- Illinois

    Coing ut infavor of gun control is the only idea Obama has had, that actually did stimulate the economy.
    Chicago has the strictest gun control laws in the country.
    Can't wait to see Obama present Emanuel with the "Murder Capital-2012" award.

    January 8, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
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