Rockville Mayor Joins the Call Urging Obama to Act to Stop Illegal Guns
Letter calls for a review of the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.
Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio was among 12 mayors from Maryland and 750 mayors nationwide to sign a letter, sent Wednesday, urging President Barack Obama to push for tougher gun laws in the wake of Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, CT.
“Together, we urge you to put forward an agenda that is rooted in common sense and that will make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them,” said the letter, signed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chairmen Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and co-signed by a bipartisan coalition of mayors from across the country.
The letter calls on Obama to push legislation to:
- Require mandatory criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun.
- Review the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and ban high-capacity rifles and ammunition magazines.
- Make gun trafficking a federal crime.
While the above steps require congressional action, the coalition also is asking Obama to use his executive power to take immediate steps to curb gun violence. They are:
- Appointing a director to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an agency that has not had a confirmed director in six years.
- Prosecuting people, such as convicted felons, who attempt to buy firearms, ammunition or high-capacity magazines despite being prohibited by law from doing so.
- Requiring federal agencies to report mental health, substance abuse and other records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The reporting requirement is part of the NICS Improvement Act of 2007, but few federal agencies comply, the coalition writes.
- Repealing remaining “Tiahrt restrictions.” Named for the sponsor of the federal budget amendments, former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), critics say the restrictions make it harder for law enforcement agencies to curb gun violence by restricting access to information about gun sales.
Besides Marcuccio, the other Maryland mayors to sign the letter are:
- Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen.
- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
- College Park Mayor Andrew M. Fellows.
- Cumberland Mayor Brian K. Grim.
- Easton Mayor Robert C. Willey.
- Garrett Park Mayor Peter Benjamin.
- Indian Head Mayor Dennis J. Scheessele.
- Laurel Mayor Craig A. Moe.
- Salisbury Mayor James Ireton, Jr.
- Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin.
- Takoma Park Mayor Bruce R. Williams.