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Tolleson takes stance on gun sales

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by Emily McCann
staff writer

Last month, the small city of Tolleson threw its support behind a big issue that’s under a lot of debate across the nation.

The City Council passed a gun crime prevention resolution May 28 supporting an agenda set forth by President Barack Obama late last year.

“The gun laws should be made tougher for criminals and those who are mentally ill to get a hold of guns,” Tolleson Mayor Adolfo Gamez said. “We agree with that at the city and don’t feel that innocent people, and children especially, should fall victim to people who shouldn’t have guns to begin with.”

The resolution calls on the federal government to reduce gun violence and prevent future mass shootings through the passage of the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013, introduced by Sen. Harry Reid, and the Fix Guns Checks of 2013, introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.

The bills would require background checks for every gun sale and ensure all criminals and other dangerous people who are prohibited from buying guns are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

“Those are things we need to have in place; they should have been in place a long time ago, in my opinion,” Gamez said.

It’s estimated that 6.6 million guns are sold or transferred without background checks every year in the United States, according to Tolleson’s resolution.

The resolution also supports legislation that would keep military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets and make gun trafficking a federal crime.

“It’s not an attack on the Second Amendment; nobody’s saying that people shouldn’t have rights to bear arms. We’re saying competent people should bear the arms,” Gamez said. “All I’m saying is we need to do more, and Tolleson is saying it’s time we take care of our kids and innocent folks who fall victim to people like this.”

Tolleson is only one of three cities in Arizona to pass such a resolution. The other two are Tucson and South Tucson, Gamez said.

“It seems to me that the more cities that sign on and support this, then the more apt that senators would be willing to listen,” he said. “I think any smart politicians will listen to numbers, and I would hope they’d say, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’”

While Avondale has not taken a stance on the topic, Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers said she supports such a measure.

“The city has not officially taken a position on this issue, but as mayor and president of [the National League of Cities], I support sensible gun legislation that doesn’t get in the way of the Second Amendment, but keeps our cities safe,” she said.

Mayors band together
Gamez also joined the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, which was created in April 2006. Since then, it has grown from 15 members to more than 950 mayors across the country and is the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country.

The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation’s mayors around common goals, such as protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns.

Last week, it launched the “No More Names: The National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence” tour to persuade senators to take a second look at the background check bill that failed to pass this spring.

At each stop on the tour, gun violence survivors and the families of Americans murdered with guns will rally the public for common-sense gun laws, including comprehensive and enforceable background checks for all gun sales.

 

Emily McCann can be reached by email at emccann@westvalleyview.com or on Twitter @NewsbyEmily.

 

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