Mayor Nutter joined the chorus of praise for Republican U. S. Sen. Pat Toomey after the senator joined West Va. Sen. Joe Manchin Wednesday, putting forth a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on gun purchasers.
“The agreement announced today by Senator Toomey and Senator Manchin is a necessary first step toward reducing gun violence, saving lives and making our communities safer,” Nutter said in a prepared statement. “Requiring mandatory background checks for all legal firearms transactions is just common sense. I applaud Senator Toomey, one of Pennsylvania’s Senators, for hearing the voices of his constituents and acting on their behalf. We must maintain this momentum as we push Congress to consider this and other measures, including limiting high-capacity magazines, stiffer penalties for straw purchasers, and specifically, Senator Feinstein’s measure to ban military-style assault weapons. The goal is to get these laws to President Obama’s desk for his signature, and we must not relent in our determination until that moment arrives.”
Nutter already wears several hats in the ongoing gun debate, as president of the U. S. Conference of Mayors, as a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and as a proponent of using the city’s financial clout, through pension fund investments, to press gun manufacturers, distributors and retailers for tighter control of gun trafficking.
City Council President Darrell Clarke issued another statement lauding Toomey and noting the dearth of compromise in Washington. He offered a few more suggestions for Congress: "a federal gun trafficking law to discourage straw purchases, stiffer penalties for the use of illegally purchased or unregistered weapons [and] common-sense limitations on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition purchases...."
Noting this week's fatal shooting in New Jersey, a 4-year-old shooting his 6-year-old playmate, Clarke added: "Congress cannot legislate human behavior, but it can create incentives for gun owners to store deadly firearms responsibly."
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