Bloomberg-led group pushes McCain, Obama on guns
NEW YORK CITY - A bipartisan group of 325 U.S. mayors on Wednesday sent a questionnaire to the U.S. presidential candidates, challenging them to take “common sense steps” to tighten the background check system for gun buyers.
“Illegal guns are used to murder 34 Americans every day, and we deserve to hear from those who seek the presidency what they will do to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a coalition founder.
Bloomberg, a political independent who considered running for president this year, said that criminals and terrorists can easily evade the current system.
His crusade against illegal guns has made him into something of a pariah among influential gun-rights groups in the United States.
The group proposes four ways to strengthen background checks, including ensuring that people who are barred from boarding airplanes are also forbidden from buying guns, and requiring gun shop employees to undergo criminal background checks.
It also urges the candidates to close a loophole making it easier to buy guns at gun shows, and change a rule that in some cases allows dealers whose licenses have been revoked to go on selling guns.
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Bloomberg testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 18, 2008)