Mayors Against Illegal Guns – a national coalition started by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino – used the Columbine anniversary Tuesday to announce a new TV ad campaign targeting the loophole, appealing in particular to key senators in five states.
“This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment; this has everything to do with public safety,” says Jake Sullivan, a member of Mayor Menino’s staff who works on coalition issues. “These anniversaries are important reminders of the need to close these loopholes and to do our best to keep our communities safe.”
He points to statistics from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives showing that 30 percent of guns involved in federal illegal gun-trafficking investigations are tied to gun shows. And he notes that the man who shot and wounded two police officers near the Pentagon last month also obtained one of his weapons from a gun show, despite the fact that he was barred from owning a gun because of mental problems.
Family members of slain Virginia Tech victims also published an open letter to Virginia senators on Monday, calling on them to pass the gun-show legislation.