Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed a letter Wednesday along with other city executives at the U.S. Conference of Mayors calling for tighter gun control laws.
In the letter, the Conference of Mayors calls for three specific actions:
- Enact legislation to ban assault weapons and other high-capacity magazines being prepared by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others;
- Strengthen the national background check system and eliminate loopholes in it; and
- Strengthen the penalties for straw purchases of guns.
The letter comes less than a week after a . It goes on to say that Congress should increase funding for mental health care and establish a commission to look at violence in the country as a whole.
"We know that preventing gun violence – whether it is a mass shooting in a school or a murder on a street corner – will take much more than strengthening our gun laws," the letter says. "We need to reverse the culture of violence in our nation so that a violent act isn’t the first response to settling a difference or compensating for a wrong."
But gun control laws shouldn't wait for other improvements to happen first, the letter says.
In a similar call for action, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns called on the president to "make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them."
Among other proposals, the bipartisan group representing 750 mayors want to:
- Require every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check.
- Get high capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off our streets.
- Make gun trafficking a federal crime.
"In the past few days, the American people came together in a national outpouring of grief and sympathy for the families of victims slain in the mass shooting in Newtown. We share in that grief. But our constituents are also outraged and looking for leadership from the White House. We look forward to working with you to find a solution to gun violence in our country." the mayors said.