tv U.S. Conference of Mayors Discuss Gun Violence Hate Crimes Part 1 CSPAN January 31, 2019 7:32am-8:47am EST
force of mayors and police chiefs. joined by mayor channel 11 and our committees work hand-in- hand. i wanted to start by putting something on the calendar that weighed on us. april 11, they will be gathering in toledo ohio, exclusively on the issue of guns. specifically the idea that he came up with recently written in the huffington post. whether or not we could provide scorecards to gun manufacturers. guns for the police departments. how we would divide that scorecard and whether we could get by using the consumer power to improve corporate responsibility. i think it is a fascinating idea and i think we should work on it.
between now and then, the brady campaign coalition to end gun violence in every town will be helping to put together the days worth of panels and we hope that you can all attend and you will all be invited. as we all know, gun violence continue to be a serious problem in cities. most of progress has been stymied by the nra, not just at the federal level but a state like ohio, the state legislature but just from doing anything at the local level. the local level is where we had the multiple shooting in 2018 that we deal with the tragedy and pain and suffering and we are having our hands tied. in this session we will hear from two mayors undertaking action and the cities to reduce gun violence. 1.and that the country with the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at the tree of life synagogue. our heart went out to him and
he said he stood up for her city. one of the most respected police chiefs. chuck ramsey who is an advisor to the conference of mayors. he is available to you. we will hear from a survival of the marjorie stone stoneman douglas school and we will have a briefing on the glimmer of hope in congress and the background check bill that will get some movement this year. let me turn it over to my good friend,11 channel 11 and is it true leader. >> thank you mayor and thank you for your leadership. we are so grateful for all that you've done and all that mayors around the table have done and non-mayors, quite frankly. we appreciate everyone being here today and whether we talk
about the mass shooting that we have become way too familiar with both or whether the mass killings one at a time. we know that gun violence plays a big part in the community in a way that hampers our productivity in the development that we worked so hard for but it devalues human life in a way that none of us believe is acceptable or okay and so today, we are going to talk about that . for more than 50 years, the conference of mayors has had a strong policy relative to gun violence, gun safety, and what we must do as mayors to address
that type of behavior and activity and some of that is legislative, some of it is policymaking, some of it happens at the national or federal level, some of it occurs at the state level but there are many things that we can do in our cities and today we will hear about that. before we get started with our speakers, i would like to go around the room and i will start with the mayor and asked each mayor to introduce themselves in the city they represent. >> >> i william peduto and the mayor of pittsburgh. >> mayor of brockton massachusetts. >> mayor of youngstown, ohio.
>> mayor of annapolis, maryland dick >> kathy franklin, mayor of everett, washington. >> marty davis, augusta georgia. >> mayor of toledo ohio. >> of course you know john
cranley who introduced himself. we were very blessed in the city this year to have a reduction in both homicides and gun related batteries but what we know is that there is no one strategy. we have used a variety of strategies from lawsuits,
ordinances, to the strategy and efforts that are community- based. mayor, william peduto from pittsburgh will talk to us about some local ordinances that he has championed in the city of pittsburgh a little later he will talk about the terrible tragedy at the tree of life synagogue and he may even mention it here today but please welcome mayor william peduto. >> thank you. just some background and a little bit about myself. i grew up with guns. in my household there was always at least 122 and a shotgun. my dad kept a clip in his bedroom drawer and a box of
shells. i started out my college career where i was on the army rotc scholarship and trained how to properly use a 22 as well as an m-16 simulated rifle. my high school was one of the high schools that monday and tuesday after thanksgiving where the days off because that is when hunting seizing began and everything with the rifle club would raffle off a 22 rifle that would sit in our cafeteria. so i am not coming from a background of not understanding guns were being anti-second amendment or anything else but on october 22 i decided it was a really nice morning to sleep in. one of those cold october pittsburgh days, overcast rain.
the one that just draws you into hit snooze and i had a system with my chief of staff that if there was ever an emergency on a date like that when you have a couple of hours off and you are not picking up the phone, hang up and call back twice on this phone and the bat phone rang and i ignored it and rolled over and then it rang a second time and i know something was wrong and both my chief of staff and i live about, i live seven locks from tree of life and he lives nine and he said we have an active shooter at tree of life, officers are down, mass casualties expected. and when you get the call it is a kick to the stomach and you don't have an immediate reaction. the immediate reaction is, okay and i say give me five minutes. let me think and then let's
plan on something. and so i put the phone down and i said a short prayer and a pick the phone back up and i said i need you to pick me up and i said come on your way. pittsburgh became the latest member of the committee that none of us want to be on. the mayors from across the country, many are in this room, they have gone through similar tragedies and they picked up and gave solid advice and let me know that there is support around you and our priorities became very simple. take care of the victims and their families, number one. no matter what decision, that is our primary. take care of those injured. number three, take care of the jewish community. take care of the community at large and we went through that for two weeks. we never mentioned guns or gun violence or mess homicides.
we stayed away from the political issues that surrounded it but we also knew that there was going to come a time in the very near future where we were going to challenge the very laws that allow this to happen on a consistent basis. last night there was a five hour public hearing back on and pittsburgh. on three separate provisions. one of the states where we have a republican legislature and the cities are dominantly democratic and so we have been preempted from having any bills brought up at the local level in order to be able to discuss any issues around guns or ammunition. secondly, we have also been placed under an order from state law that would allow a citizen to file charges against any elected official who would vote in order to change any
laws around guns or ammunition and we just decided it has to end. it is not going to happen in washington and it needs to happen in our cities. i think it is a call to each of us. when the women decided they were going to march to vote they were told it was against the constitution. the constitution said you can't vote but the people challenged it. the civil rights movement demanded equality and people said it was in the constitution. can't demand equality and it started at the city level and that is what we want to do in pittsburgh and we want to encourage you to join us. three commonsense reforms that allow anyone to practice the right to have a gun, the right
to be able to follow the second amendment but lessen the impact that happens every month in this country for mass homicide. one of them preempts the use and the basic ownership right of anybody that has an assault type weapon. that is the controversial one. the one that becomes debated. it doesn't confiscate previously owned legally owned purchased assault type rifles like an ar 15 but what it does do is stop the use and allowing people to have them within the city's borders. the second one has already been dealt with by aft or i'm sorry, tfa, atf. i'm from pittsburgh.
afc comes first. atf. that's the use of bump stocks. it creates machine guns and they are illegal and a way to get around it. a loop on the trump administration has banned them but also the use and purchase and earning of bullets that can penetrate armor. the third one is pretty simple and what we think most people would agree that we realize that there are people that shouldn't have guns. the mental state temporarily or chronically that are going to cause harm to themselves or to others and a police officer for a family member should have the ability to go to the court and to be able to go through due process and have their weapons temporarily relieved from them just like we do with protective
abuse orders for domestic violence orders and allow them to get the help they need. those are the three areas where we think this discussion needs to begin. we have as many people have reminded us, no legal right to do what. the state of pennsylvania exit that local government can't. we intend to go ahead and pass this into pass it by february 14th on the anniversary of parkland and remembered those that lost their lives thereby making sure it passes on that date. also to go to court and to fight this in court and to fight it over and over again. my hope would be that cities throughout this country would do the same thing and we will be in court on all over this country and took congress here's the call, until the state capital here's a call
that there are ways that we can lessen the amount of people who are dying and there are ways to do this beyond there is nothing to be done. >> thank you very much, mayor. [ applause ] >> the restraining order bill a couple days ago when we met with the coalition to end gun violence, they were explaining to us that there is 10 states including five republican states and governors will sign legislation on the statewide level that allows you to go get a restraining order for someone to purchase guns. if family or others go get a temporary restraining order. that is another topic we will discuss in toledo. we will do all of the initial
speakers and come around for discussion. >> can we get copies of the legislation? >> yeah. the request was that they will share the legislation with all of us. >> great. >> i would like to introduce my good friend, the mayor of toledo. >> thank you, mayor john cranley. in a lot of ways i don't know where to begin. i have so much passion and emotion on this issue. toledo, ohio is one of the cities that is not gone through what pittsburgh has and so many other cities has but i realize that it could happen any day. it could happen any time. it could happen in any one of our cities and i am just tired. i am tired of it. i'm exhausted of it.
we are, i believe, the greatest country in the world. we put a man on the moon. we helped win world war ii. we eradicate diseases and done have so many wonderful things but we are the only country on planet earth where this happens with any regularity. the only country that has not figured out a way to make a difference on this. the only one. i hope that the mayor is successful in the legislative efforts will be. i suspect he will be. i hope that is the case. hope other legislative efforts, that your cities or states will be undertaking and be successful. i don't know if they will be. simply because of some of the forces that the mayor talked about. the relentless drama that always takes place around this debate.
extreme views on both sides. but it is so difficult to pass any sort of common sense legislation on this issue. even when 92%, i forget the percentage. after sandy hook happen, the senate was debating some measures that 92% of the american people supported and they still couldn't pass it. it's just not going to happen right now in washington dc and it wasn't going to happen before this shutdown but there is a certain metaphor in my judgment for being in the city right now at this time where the fact that they can't do anything, they can't cooperate, they can't get along, they are not just -- it's not going to
happen. if we sit around and wait for washington, it is not going to happen. i worry that they just don't care. if you don't take action that 92% of the american people support when 26-year-olds are being killed when they are crying under their desks, you are just not going to solve this problem. so i began to reflect on what can we do. i have been a part of this debate for about 20 years. when i was first elected to toledo city council 20 years ago, about a month later, columbine happened. 20 years ago. the anniversary of parkland and the anniversary of columbine is 20 years roughly. a number of ordinances and as mayor john cranley highlighted,
they were immediately preempted and flush by the state legislature. i have begun to think about ways that cities can make a difference without having to worry about whether congress will ever get its act together or whether your individual state legislature will get its act together and it struck me 20 years ago when we had a city council chamber jammed with passionate people on all sides of the issue. among the things that is always said that those who want to protect the status quo, one of the things is, come on we already have enough laws. so many laws on the books we don't need anymore. just enforce the laws we have. i began to think, all right, fine. maybe there is a way we can do this without the silliness and the circus of those packed city
council chambers and toledo may be structured differently than your cities. i don't know in your city if you have a city manager or a different structure. this might not be the case in your city but i can tell you in toledo the city council, just like any legislative body appropriates money for stuff but then it is the executive who decides how to spend that money. when we go out to bid later this spring for our ammunition for police department, our guns and our replacement parts for guns, we are going to include a list of questions that will help us ascertain which companies are responsible and which aren't. toledo spends about $200,000 on
this effort and i am sure the gun companies wouldn't miss our $200,000 at all. but if just the cities in ohio and we have three mayors sitting in ohio, ohio mayors and just the big cities in ohio joining toledo in the attempt to put purchasing power, pressure on the gun companies, all of the sudden toledo's $200,000 turns into $1.3 million and then if we begin to's get support from other countries around the country, whether it is houston or los angeles or new york or anywhere. all of the sudden we are now talking about tens of millions of dollars. i don't think it would be hundreds of millions of dollars but it would be hundreds of millions of dollars. they wouldn't miss toledo's $200,000 but they might miss
the tens of millions of dollars of business they would lose if the cities of this conference and country banded together in an attempt to put free-market pressure on the companies to do what we think is responsible. so, you don't want anyone laws, you think we have enough laws? good. this is not another law. this is using the executive power of the mayor's office to award contracts in a way that we think is responsible. is this some socialist plot? i am anticipating arguments. a socialist plot to burn the constitution? nope no laws at all. effect, this uses the free market capitalist system that i am told is a wonderful thing so if you don't like our approach, you must not like america.
you must not like capitalism because what we are going to do is put free-market pressure on these companies to respond better. much like several airlines and banks did. so, this is not a new idea and i came to it on my own but subsequent research has helped me learn that there are other mayors in the last five, 10 years that i've pondered something like this. the efforts did not necessarily get off of the ground. i probably over my time so i might say i think of the efforts failed, they may have failed for lack of buy-in among other cities and so my hope going forward in the conversation that could continue on april 11 when the mayor host a conference of mayors in toledo that i hope you will attend, if we can get more with the help of this conference, i do think we can put together tens of millions of dollars of free-market pressure on these
companies to help be responsible. we don't need an ordinance, we don't need a law, we don't need to worry about being preempted. we have power as mayors. we can yield it and i hope we do. >> thank you, mayor. [ applause ] >> between now and april 10 and 11th, we would have dinner in toledo on april 10. we can have one day of sessions on april 11. that is it. one day. more than an hour to get to the issues in more detail. the goal for a meeting like this which is not part of the annual conference meeting is that you all bring chiefs with you. having law enforcement with us is powerful and one of the great things about the task force is we can stand united with chiefs and the executive leadership of the police department around the country and frankly, they will probably give us very constructive feedback as we develop it and
between now and then, we would like to send out draft ideas on how a scorecard can be put together and give feedback by you and your chiefs before showing up in toledo in april so we can have a constructive or productive conversation. it will not be the only thing. we will talk about restraining orders of every town, the coalition brady and a number of topics but i thought the consumer power idea was exciting and we should make sure to put time into that. thank you very much and now we go into chief ramsey who came up from the chicago police department and served as the chief of washington dc and philadelphia and shared for president obama the task force of the 21st century. chief ramsey. >> thank you mayor and thank you for putting this meeting together and for being a part
of that meeting that is coming up in toledo. i think it is going to be very important for us to talk about this very important issue. i believe i began in 1968 in the chicago police department. i have seen a lot over the years. part of what i have seen is an increase in gun violence. this is nothing new to many of you sitting around the table because you experience it yourself but i going to use philadelphia as an example. most recent city i served in and i still live in philadelphia. mr. philadelphia had 351 homicides. 80% of those homicides were committed with a firearm. now that is not unusual for philadelphia. 75 to 80% every single year of the homicides committed are handguns involved.
i have been to hundreds, maybe thousands of crime scenes over my years of service, i can't remember the last time i went to a homicide scene or a shooting scene where a only saw one shell casing. people are not only being shot but multiple times. it is so bad that in philadelphia police officers no longer wait for in a village to respond to the scene. officers put the victim in the backseat of the car and take them directly to the trauma center. people are literally bleeding out on the streets waiting for the ambulances. it is reality. people hit four or five times with hike caliber weapons and they played out quickly. we do not wait. we are blessed to have great trauma centers. if we can get them with an ounce of blood in a heartbreak
they can be saved. that is how bad it is. also, when you think about what is going on in the country, a mass shooting parkland, las vegas, the list goes on and on and on. there are mass shootings and mass murders taking place in our country every day, one at a time, two at a time, these are the homicides that have taken place in chicago, pittsburgh, baltimore philadelphia, every single day, people are losing their lives. we are talking about homicides, were not even talking about suicide because there's a gun in the house or the accidental shootings that take place where one sibling fires a gun in the house and shoots a brother or sister, accidentally. were not talking about the trauma that young people that live in many of our neighborhoods experience when they have to walk past crime scenes every day on the way to
school and we wonder why kids have trouble learning. they are traumatize. you would be to if you had to see this stuff every single day. we have a homicide that takes place in philadelphia after the crime lab means the scene, we call the fire department to hose down the sidewalk. some kid shouldn't have to walk past that the next day. take the crime scene tape all the way down, not just break it in half because people don't need to be reminded of that. why do we have to go through this? just to show you how insensitive we become to climb in violence, a couple days ago, there was a mass shooting in sebring florida, five people were murdered in suntrust bank. how much of that did you see on television. talking about the shutdown and all the nonsense going on here in washington d.c. five people
slaughtered, and that's no longer the top news story. change has got to happen, but it's only gonna happen in cities , it happens in the people who have to experience it and deal with it every day. talking about murders, 116,000 people were shot in the united states last year. 115,000 people. what about the medical costs, the cost associated with that. many people unfortunately get shot, blue cross, blue shield. who pays that. an enormous impact on all of us , the people who have to deal with it, families of victims, people who live in neighborhoods where this is taking place that young people that you will hear from soon his life will never be the same because of what he experienced
in parkland florida. when is enough enough. . there's power here. this power from the grassroots that can change what's going on in this country. this is all of our country, it's not smith & wesson and the nra, this is our country and we wanted to be safe and secure for everybody. unless we do something that simply is not going to happen because, i guarantee you there's another homicide that's gonna take place if not at this moment within the next few minutes. another mass shooting around the corner and you don't know when and where. because because of our inaction
sac we will now hear from a man he's turned a tragic situation and his experience in that tragedy into a cause to make our country better. chief ramsey gave us a challenge to do something. this young man is doing something every day and we are so proud of the work that he is doing. please, now, here david from the march for our lives. david? >> thank you. first off i want to start by saying, some of you might be thinking this is too political of an issue for me to be involved in. i can't take this. taking the third rail, when 40,000 americans are dying annually and children are dying inside and outside of schools on the way to school every day, is not an option.
i don't need your help, our generation needs your help to end gun violence because this issue has continued on for way too long. , the only thing that matters is if you're a human being with company and whether you take action before the issue becomes political in your city because so many people have died from it. i also want us to recognize that even though the media may only like to pay attention to mass shootings, every shooting has to be just as important, i know that almost every mayor in the room get the text on your phone when someone is shot and killed in your city. may think yourself when you read that, i don't need to worry about that because i was the only person killed. that occurred in the part of town where people don't like to talk about it's not just ending gun violence in one zip code, it's not just ending gun
violence for one person because of the color of their skin. ending gun violence looks like ending gun violence in every community because in america we care about you because you're a human being. we need your support. if you're afraid of the nra then you shouldn't even be here. if you're afraid of the nra and going out and saving lives in standing up to an organization that's not only funded by gun manufacturers that benefit off the perpetrating of violence and incrimination within our youth, if you're afraid of them and the same organization actively under investigation by the department of justice who had a russian spy plead guilty to conspiring with the
republican party and the nra to try to destroy our own country, why are you here right now we need everyone of you standing up because they could go after evs. they cannot go after everyone, not every mayor in the u.s. i don't care. where you come from or who you are the fact you in the room right now means you care about ending gun violence. sometimes that means taking a step out where you may not get reelected you will go down fighting and that is what creates change in this country. i want us to recognize that over incarcerating our youth and throwing people into prison is not what's going to and violence, over policing our youth will not and violence .
>> i encourage each of you to look this up, run by an amazing woman who nobody talks about because she works in preventing gun violence in the black and brown community that the media doesn't pay attention to. her name is erica ford. write this down. crisis management system gun violence intervention system. these are the systems that work . violence intervention programs cost a couple million dollars a year, i don't even care if you don't care about lives because i know you care about one thing and that's a money. they save billions of dollars down the line because by investing a couple million dollars upfront and hiring people out of the criminal justice system that know what the at risk youth are going through and use them to talk to the youth and stop them from going down the same path other
able to reduce gun violence in the first year of implementation. on average, by 40 to 70%, while not increasing the mass incorporation epidemic. secondly, we need to stop talking about this as a political issue. this is a public health issue. violence is a public health issue because even if we stop criminals from being able to get guns we need to treat violence like a disease and the new york city crisis system using community organizers and young people from the community , like were sean, the 21-year- old i worked with in new york city public school systems, interrupting small fights occurring in middle schools.
by working with communities from the ground up and starting now, 20 years from now we hopefully don't need to keep having this meeting. you for meeting 10 or 20 years from now we failed. there's a lot more work we need to do. if you actually want to take and care about people dying and not just sending thoughts and prayers and stop youth and everyone from dying, no matter the zip code
>> when people say you want to take your guns away, i have a question. when i'm faced with armed protesters in dallas texas that were shouting our names for march for our lives that wanted to shoot us and we went out to talk to them and they said why are you taking our guns away? we asked three questions, are you trying to kill yourself? >> are you a terrorist? >> are you going to go out and commit a mass atrocity, they said no and i said i'm not trying to take your gun. the truth of the matter is, any law-abiding gun owner should not be afraid of extremist protection. the truth of the matter is, if we cared about whether or not we want to end gun violence, we would all stand up and fight them, the nra and gun manufacturers funding the nra along with russia. i'm not kidding, that's not a laughing matter. their interfering in our election, that's how deep- rooted the nra is in our
political pocket., even though you may think arming more people may work if you think guns make us safer, i have news for you, and america would be the safest country on the planet, we have more guns than people there's a reason why every other more developed country has significantly less gun violence and gun deaths than we do . >> one of the other things you guys can implement is a mandatory waiting period. if you're lucky enough to be in a state that doesn't blocks date gun regulation which is bolstered by the way. >> waiting periods save lives. specifically from suicide which is the vast amount of gun deaths. they reduce suicides by 10 to 15%, not just a percentage, that is thousands of people that get to survive because gun suicides are successful 95% of the time. typically other suicide attempts are successful
92% of the time. sac even if you think you're a small world mayor in primarily white america and you think this issue doesn't affect you, i guarantee there's a massive problem that no one talks about with gun suicides that reflects the middle class primarily white males in rural america that nobody talks about. we need to start having conversations. i don't care if you are afraid of the nra. if you're afraid you're gonna lose the election, what are you doing in your position?
[ applause ] thank you. thank you, david. one last thing, make sure you look up violence intervention programs, saving millions of taxpaying dollars, don't over incarcerate our youth which is a massive problem in a country that we claim to be free in . >> how many of you are employing the group violence intervention strategy in your city? david is right, it's something that is extremely, not just cost-effective but life-saving. how many of you have the pinpoint coalition in your city?
>> cease-fire ? which is also group violence intervention? many strategies are a result of the support we get and the partnership we have from the office, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the director who's here . >> thank you mayor. it's a pleasure to be here with you. our new motto in the cops office is listen to what mayors and police chiefs have to say. were trying to do the best we can with that today. hopefully will be open at least until february 11, the goal now is to make sure their grant payment system operates flawlessly..
and it's always a pleasure to be with the mayors and we feel like you are friends of the office and support our efforts to promote community engagement and fundamentally doing the right thing in law enforcement. it's a pleasure to be here with you this morning . >> i see we've been joined by our fearless leader, and he has shown tremendous leadership in columbia south carolina on this issue. please, welcome to the microphone, the president mayor of south carolina, talking about his work . >> thank you so much . >> i'm excited about being here. i love listening to david speak because obviously we probably have three doesn't people around the table, for dozen opinions on any number of
topics so many of us will agree with several things he has to say and disagree with some of the others. i love the youth activism we are saying. is helping to inspire young people to ensure the dream and promise of america stays real for each and every one of our babies, it's exciting. thanks for him. i'm gonna be incredibly brief, i want to thank karen and john who've been doing great work with the chief of police, so they continue to do with they have done in the forefront of
policymaking, to help us attack existing challenges, long-term challenges and emerging challenges facing the american population. we've taken our role in columbia in this space very seriously. were in the heart of the american south, we are a place where gun rights are not only important but sacrosanct to our were life in the south. the importance of policymaking, that can be used as armor, for colleagues in other places of the country where conversations aren't even happening, with seven members, six of us
gunowners, several of us own several guns and we knew that type of policymaking in a place like columbia, will allow friends in similar cities around the country to begin to do thoughtful policymaking and say yes, in the heart of the deep south, this type of action is going on. we were not hesitant. just a few years ago after the tragedy of the a manual nine shootings, some of our state policymakers, i'm sure some of them just happen to be asleep at the switch that day, they were discussing taking down the confederate battle flag which happened but, in the midst of the discussion there were two permits to protest on the same day. one, the ku klux klan of western north carolina and the other from the new back panther party of north florida. permits awarded for the rally
same time, same diclassi place at the state capital for five blocks away from city hall. we decided that we needed that and we understood that we were preempted from doing certain things under our state law. the deputy chief of police is here now and we still knew we also had an oath that we take to protect the health, life and safety of our citizens. someone saw that and we immediately passed an ordinance that banned firearms within the remitter of our state capital. i knew we were probably on camera and we knew we were in direct violation of laws and knew we were directly consistent on constitutional grounds to do what we did. we were sued we lost the lawsuit on preemption grounds. we were ruled constitutional on what we did and i will tell you that the $3000 fine was the
best money we spent in our lives. i'm convinced that thoughtful, proactive policymaking saves lives and provides some sort of platform for us to do things in the future that would indeed save lives. thank you to each and every one of you. i don't know what happens in washington every single day in our state capitals are also infected with this paralysis of not doing thoughtful, pragmatic policymaking that saves lives but each and every one of your cities does incredible things. share those ideas, share the practices, let's guess these ideas and take him around the country and we do what mayors always want to do, get the job done. we will continue to do so under the leadership of the mayors, thank you and thank the presenters for all the work you do. we will continue to develop this relationship that is
meaningful to the people of the united states. god bless you. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you mr. president. our final speaker is going to discuss the glimmer of hope in congress that mayor primly talked about earlier. sarah trumbull is the director of federal legislative campaign at every town for gun safety. the parent organization for mayors against illegal guns. many of us have been longtime members or our new members of mayors against illegal guns we appreciate the partnership that we enjoy with that organization. sarah is going to describe the universal background check bill that's been introduced in both houses and its prospects.
i hope that she will give us some guidance on members that we might target and states where we need to have some action in terms of reaching out to our members. i suspect indiana is one of them. sarah, thank you for being with us today . >> thank you so much for having me. it's an honor to be on this esteemed panel and to speak with all of you. my name is sarah trumbull and i am here on behalf of every town for gun safety. our grassroots arm, mom's demand action and mayors against illegal guns, our bipartisan coalition of more than 1000 current and former mayors across the country. i will tell you all about what's happening on the federal level, despite how bleak it seems it's not quite that bleak. i would be remiss if i did at first they that while we know the politics of guns is certainly a national issue, the
consequences of gun violence is a local issue. we know that this is something you all are experiencing in your communities every day we are so grateful for all the work you're doing so were so excited to have the opportunity to work with you. if you'd like to be more involved with mayors against illegal guns, don't hesitate to reach out. the team is here, paul, the orange ty, sharon, michael, they are all here. but, federally speaking, we are extremely pleased that thanks to the work of david and young activists and people across the country, in november we elected a gun sense majority to the house of representatives for the first time. [ applause ], less than a week into that congress, it's been bipartisan backgrounds >> that means there is a gaping
huge loophole where he seeks out an unlicensed seller, hundreds of thousands of sales take place without questions asked. time to update the laws to meet the times that means requiring back ground checks until all the places guns are sold, not just brick-and-mortar stores and that gun stores to. , background checks work and they save lives and in the 25 years the system has been working for licensed dealers, more than 3.5 million illegal gun sales have been stopped. 39% were to convicted felons trying to buy guns. if we can close the loopholes that still exist, we can make
massive changes. states that require background checks on all handgun sales are associated with 48% lower rates of gun trafficking in their cities. your voices are so important and so incredibly powerful. i just hired a gentleman from the senate and told him i was coming here today and he said, my boss had a rule. if a local mayor or elected official calls we drop everything. we canceled every meeting. she met with them immediately. that's probably true in every single office. this is not going to be an easy push. we feel optimistic about the house of representatives, hra has 220 cosponsors, you only need 218 votes to pass legislation that scenes promising.
we think it will move quickly and we expect a vote for the first 100 days are at. the senate is not a cakewalk but it's also not impossible. members of congress and senators need to hear from folks on the ground that the issue is important to them and it's a bipartisan issue. there are states across the country where there are moderate republicans and that republicans that need to know that the communities stand with them. in places like colorado and indiana and florida and north carolina and ohio, all of the senators really need to be hearing from you and we are more than happy to help you talk about the bill, talk about background checks , talk about how it can affect your states, if you have any questions, please feel free to talk to us for information on the legislation or come and find me or paul afterwards. [ applause ]
thank you to your team for the leadership and all the work that you do. we have taken the chairs prerogative, but mayor? >> thank you so much and for the panel. one discussion i did not hear and, the guns we're talking about on the streets of urban cities, background checks don't help because these are guns that are coming in. we did what
we had to to keep people off the corners. we had mobile units going out to the streets and getting people jobs. but, illegal guns are on the streets of the city and we attempted to pass a law to make it illegal to carry a illegal gun. aclu folks will argue black on black, mass incarceration, but the reality is that people are getting shot every single day. i'm sure is i've been here this weekend, there've been three or four murders in my city. i don't hear those discussions and while we've not stuck with mass incarceration, we feel like we've been mass shootings, we feel mass shootings happen every day. because, somebody is dying in our city, and it's not by the lack of a background check, it's the influx of illegal guns that end up in the hands of not
just men on our street, young children on our street. so, i would love to hear someone address that. we've attempted legislation and couldn't get the council to pass it. this whole conversation around being afraid, were not afraid, we want solutions and i would love to hear feed back. >> i guess i might say, that i'm not sure with whom the city of baltimore does business when it comes to the police department, i would welcome baltimore to join other cities
to under stand the money were getting these countries don't go to organizations that that look the other way. so what do we do? it's a huge problem, we can bring change to companies that right now don't care what happens . >>, we can take all the money out of the gun shops and organizations that are selling them, but they're not going to gun shops to get guns. >> there getting them on the street . >> your city could stop giving money to the countries -- >> chief ramsey? >> you raise a good point mayor, a lot of the guns are illegal, you have the issue of straw purchasing that has to be
addressed because that's one way in which they get there. we had a situation where one of the street gangs was renting guns. that's not uncommon. you want a gun to do a hit, for $50 or $25, you get a gun use it and bring it back. that's it. they don't have construct of possession on everybody if you do catch him with it. it's a serious problem, i don't have an exact solution, obviously, we have to deal with the people in possession to use guns to commit crimes. , some of these folks belong in jail i need to be there for a long time and they need to be there to prove a point and that's just not acceptable no
one is afraid to carry guns, legal or illegal. they are just not afraid . >>, the need to deal with this exact problem . >> the same way we try to reach manufacturers and others on a much larger scale. i just think the city, and i'm not talking about baltimore call the cities that have this issue. we just have to take a stand and be harsh. i hate to say that but it's true. you get caught with an illegal gun, use a gun to commit a crime, i'm not anti-gun. but i do have a serious issue with people who use guns to commit crimes. when they get caught with the guns, i would hit them hard
just for having the gun but that gets lost, they plea- bargain they drop the charge and get something else in the next thing you know you're locking up the same people over and over again and they go and commit crimes and they have rap sheets a mile long . >> on that point, you may do this already but what we do, if you have conviction, previous felony, the mere possession of a gun is a federal offense. unbelievably powerful law and, unfortunately, most u.s. attorneys don't want to deal with it, they want big terrorism cases and don't deal with everyday shootings. we luckily need to bring more cases.
and two lawyers work full-time with the u.s. attorney, to bring more cases. there's two issues, one is can you get the u.s. attorney to agree to bring the case which is one political issue in the second issue is a real resource issue, will will take the resource issue off the table, we will pay for the lawyers to bring more cases. it's had a huge impact. , you raise an important thing to this discussion. that's the need to have u.s. attorneys and district prosecutors at the table and perhaps on the 10th and the 11th you can get some of your prosecutors to come close enough that suddenly out of toledo that might be a great conversation as well as u.s. attorneys at the northern district of ohio that would be
helpful . >> i want to thank you for the organization and bringing back our social conscience in the country. i think this is sort of what is happened, everybody knows we just experienced the same thing out of pittsburgh. we've organized two initiatives and on the one-year anniversary were doing a thing called the g- 77 summit. it's 77 cities that we reach out to them, mass shootings, in this century. it doesn't include columbine, 77 cities have had mass shootings and then we are doing an annual report, on what type of shootings happen in our city, close range, drugs, mental health, whether a person died before they got to the hospital. we know exactly what were dealing with.
before our mass shooting happened, we had our version and an apple is and it was one of the only adults to speak their. before the event i was in a group of 100, i was with leaders at the community college and i've got to go to this hearing now and speak i wish you would stick around but i know there are more women elected officials was some gun control and it's a second amendment issue. i think it's a small [ null ] issue . and 100 women went did he just say that. the truth is, it's bullying. we have to stand up to bullies. we teach our kids to stand up to bullies and all the mayors in this room understand that. thank you. [ applause ] >> we are seriously out of time.
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