Mayors Urge Firearms Policy Action

In response to the need to curb gun violence, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster joined with over 750 city executives across the nation by signing on to a letter to President Barack Obama from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.  The letter, also delivered to Congressional leaders on December 19, 2012, presents agenda items for consideration and immediate actions that can help make American cities safer.

The letter states, “Together, we urge you to put forward an agenda that is rooted in common sense and that will make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them.  That agenda should: (1) require every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check, (2) get high capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off our streets, and (3) make gun trafficking a federal crime.”

Immediate actions to curb gun violence encouraged by Congress and The White House include: appointment of an ATF director; prosecution of prohibited purchasers who attempt to buy firearms, ammunition or high-capacity magazines; requirement of federal agencies to report records to NICS; and repeal of remaining Tiahrt restrictions.  (Please see full letter attached/below.)

Mayor Paul A. Dyster comments, “At Sunday evening’s memorial service, President Obama said that if there was even one step that we as a nation could take to save another child or parent or town from the grief that has visited Newtown, then we have an obligation to try.  I couldn’t agree more.  Our bipartisan coalition of mayors from across the country–many of them sportsmen and gun owners themselves–have given the President a menu of common sense actions we think are both practical and impactful.  The President should know he can count on the support of the nation’s mayors as he moves to address the issue of gun violence in our country.”

About the author  ⁄ buffalorising

43 comments
JohnMarko
JohnMarko

I was wrong

It's now ONCE A DAY!!!

Yeah GUNZ!!!

HOORAAHHH!!!

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

The US has THOUSANDS of times more gunz deaths than even the next highest country - and the UK, Canada, Australia, France, etc. all have THE EXACT SAME "violent" GAMES - BUT A MINISCULE AMOUNT OF GUNZ DEATHS!

Amazing, isn't it?!!!

IT'S THE GUHZ AND ACCESS TO THEM, STUPID!!!

STOP SPEWING NRA BULLS--T!!!

benfranklin
benfranklin

My son plays Madden on the pc. He's 8. When we go outside to throw the football around, he takes a stance like he's under center, looks left, right, audibles, and yells at me when I run the wrong route.

He's obviously learning from the game.

I'm not against gun ownership for responsible adults. Letting a kid play an electronic game that teaches them to kill makes about as much sense as buying them a beer and a pack of smokes.

joey d
joey d

Why not go to the source to todays' society's problem, video games that teach children to shoot and kill at variuos levels, misical videos and raps that glorify killing of people, even "cops" or upstanding citizens who dare to admit and testify they witnessed crimes in a court of law. When children are brought up to see these things and participate in an imaginary world...how long before in their lives does it become real??

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

That's why people at the time - Reps and Dems - INSISTED that OUR government take over the role of providing the safety net for our citizens BECAUSE THE CHARITIES DOING SO WERE AN ABJECT FAILURE AT IT!!!

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

So when is it a "good time"?

We're now having these massacres about once a month or week now. I think now is a good enough time to discuss gun control since the Columbine massacre, don't you think? (which we STILL have yet to "discuss", FYI!)

It's unfortunately TOO LATE to discuss gun control for the 20 babies killed, don't you think?

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

Interesting tidbit on the preservatives/chemicals:

Nowadays, when someone needs to be exhumed - even ten years later, the corpse is just a little darker with some mold - all due to the effects of all the preservatives/chemicals ingested over the years. And this doesn't even involve enbalming - of which many corpses do not have the embalming done to them.

I'm going to be cremated - I should go up in a nice flame...

Don't want to waste any money of a big burial to-do and the wasted space of a cemetary plot, etc. for any heirs I may have.

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

Actually, yes, it is almost "illegal".

You now have to go thru intensive investigation to get amounts of fertilizer and other possible bomb making chemicals. How much is limited, have to know what the intended use if for - which is then checked-out, your prior history of ordering that kind of stuff, etc.

It's amazing to me how when ONE idiot tries to use a liquid, all liquids are suddenly banned, and ONE other tries to lite his shoes, and SUDDENLY, everyone is told to drop their shoes, etc. - but when 20 CHILDREN are gunned down by GUNS, oh, no - we need to somehow protect the gun nuts PRECIOUS! I'm sick of this bull - and finally most Americans agree.

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

The reason we have OUR government (not "the" government -"OUR" government) doing most of the social safety net/welfare programs is that all the charitable organizations in the world can only provide a very small minimal amount of relief to those that need it - something in the order of only 1 percent or less. Prior to all of the great New Deal and Great Society programs, too many people died do to lack of support THRU NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN.

Your and the conservatives' spew that the charities can or should do it all is simply bull.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

The NRA has solved the problem, more guns, especially in our schools. Their ridiculous stance would be comical if not for the carnage we continue to experince daily. There were two armed guards at Columbine the day of that massacre, the NRA never lets facts like that or basic decency get in the way of their agenda.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

I am not sure it is about who we elect, I think it has more to do with the way our society ignores crime as long as the victims are non-white or poor city dwellers. A few years ago two black guys tried to hold up a store in Amherst. Massive resources were deployed, the schools were locked down, helicopters were brought in, and a house to house search was undertaken. On the same day a city of Buffalo deli owner was murdered in his store, there was no massive response, no lock down, no helicopters, and no house to house search, guess which story repeatedly dominated the news cycle?

I don't necessarily believe non-resident cops slack on arrests, my point is their lack of connection to the neighborhoods they patrol. It is human nature to protect and defend the place we call home, we need that kind of passionate committment from our police officers.

Good to find some common ground, if we can do it our elected officials in Washington should be able to do the same.

whatever
whatever

BRL>"I am with you on more aggresive prosecution , it is frustrating to see so many violent offenders slip through the cracks of our criminal justice system."

It would be nice if our view about that was shared by more people here, but maybe it isn't based on who we keep electing in NYS & Erie Co.

BRL>"I also believe our police officers would be much more effective and aggressive if they lived in Buffalo and had a personal stake in our community."

But even if suburban-resident BPD cops really do slack on arrests compared to city-resident cops, that Minnesota Ave example shows the amount of people already being arrested/convicted for serious crimes is more than we're willing to jail for long.

He'd been arrested at least 3x for 3 convictions (robbery, rape, parole violation). And it isn't unusual for the # of arrests to be a lot higher than the # of convictions, so who knows how many times the BPD had arrested him.

I just don't see any evidence that the # of arrests by BPD for serious (not drug possession) crimes isn't plenty high enough already for what the system's capacity. The issues seem to be what happens by DAs, judges, and legislators who decide how many cells are funded for violent convictions.

I also agree on not jailing nonviolent drug offenders, but they're already a pretty small % in NYS prisons, around 17%.

As of 2009, 80% of 13,400 drug-related inmates were nonviolent (says the Assembly here when they did repeal Rockefeller sentencing), so that's around 10,000.

That's out of around 60,000 total state prisoners that year, so 10,000 is 17%.

It would be good to reduce it down to 0% no matter what, then keep the cells open and used for serious crimes. (I just doubt they'd do that latter part, even if they did the first.)

LancasterPat
LancasterPat

I really could care less what Brown and Dyster have to say about gun control. Neither of them will be voting on any perspective legislation in the future.

I love how everyone gets along and has lively discussions about economic development, job creation, and other Buffalo related topics in the comments section on this site. Bring up politics and everyone throws bombs at one another. Myself being the political junkie I am, who rarely shies away from a debate won't be participating in this one. I like how this site trends light on politics and hope this post isn't the start of a tread of unrelated political topics.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

I am with you on more aggresive prosecution , it is frustrating to see so many violent offenders slip through the cracks of our criminal justice system. I think part of the problem is the resources and energy that are squandered prosecuting drug offenders, we should concentrate our effort on those that would do us real harm. I also believe our police officers would be much more effective and aggressive if they lived in Buffalo and had a personal stake in our community. There is an officer that lives here in Black Rock that often attends block club meetings, community meetings, and business organization meetings. He also is willing to engage with citizens on the street, a real asset to the neighborhood. He is sadly the exception, most police officers do not live here and rarely make any effort to connect with the citizens. The police are often seen as an occupying force, not as a partner in the community. That needs to change if we want to make real progress in community safety.

TheRealBuffaloBill
TheRealBuffaloBill

That tops it has the most ignorant thing I have ever read on here.

OutsidetheBox
OutsidetheBox

For once I actually agree with Black Rock Lifer. Seriously, most people seem to want reasonable gun control measures and it's only the fringe that wants to remove all guns. Those of you that support gun rights so much, please explain to me why any of the three proposed agenda items in the proposal by the mayors are an issue?

MikeN
MikeN

Which then end up in everyone else's water supply along with every other cure all because at some point our society has come to believe that we all should live forever so we can dance at out 6th generation grand kids wedding. Don't forget the food additives and hormones in food. It's ok for your dinner to be 'juiced' but not Barry Bonds.

Or the fact that if we have any relationship with anyone at all it involves some sort of computer or phone.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Guns make it much easier to kill, no other method is so readily available or lethal. Last year 32,000 Americans died from gunshot wounds.

A million Americans have died since 1968, to claim people "will find a way, gun or no gun" ignores history and the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

whatever
whatever

I'll be pleasantly surprised if looking "from all sides" at the what mayors Brown & Dyson raised about "actions that can help make American cities safer" will really include looking at our revolving door for repeat offense violent crimes as happens here in Buffalo.

(and if anyone is about to say the wrist slaps for that now-murdered robber/rapist were rare exceptions, just tell me how high a number isn't 'rare' and I can easily find that many other local examples)

If there's so much frequent unwillingness in our NYS & county justice systems here to enforce current laws against repeat offenses like robbery & rape - and our local/state electeds very seldom (if ever?) speak about that - it makes me wonder if any new federal or NYS laws would be seriously enforced ayway… or if they're mostly just for showy politics.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

No Ben, what is despicable is how long we have ignored this issue and failed to find a reasonable middle ground. Most Americans respect the basic right to own weapons for hunting, sport, or self defense. What separates the gun nuts from the rest of us is their obsession with bigger, badder, and of course deadlier. Their is NO REASON for a civilan to own a military style assault rifle designed only for murder and no need for large capacity magazines. The problem of violence in our society needs to be addressed in many areas but guns are by far the dominant factor and deserve the most scrutiny.

We need to break the stranglehold of the gun lobby and those that profit from the sale of weapons, that small yet powerful group presently determine our public policy and regulation. Finally we need to confront this fantasy world where paranoid fears are celebrated and wild conspiracy theories go unchallenged. Most of us want a reasonable level of safety, we are tired of fundamentalist arguments that pervert the second amendement to satisfy and accomodate only the crazy fringe.

benfranklin
benfranklin

In the wake of Sandy Hook, one can hear the echo of Rahm Emmanuel's declaration to 'never let a good crisis go to waste'.

It's despicable. Let the poor young souls rest in peace.

Rcc
Rcc

You are right idiot was a poor choice of words. I should have said misinformed . As far as Jesus being a liberal if you mean taking care of the poor and the sick I agree . The problem we have is the government is doing what the church should be doing and people have become to dependant on it.

MikeN
MikeN

I do not own guns or generally like them. I, however, hope that we slow down and do not end up with something akin to the Patriot Act in which I think we all gave up way too much in the name of security. And frankly its this kind of political pandering and opportunism, especially from lower level officials who have no real influence on a national stage that is absolutely repulsive. Equally repulsive is the gun trafficking that is approved by the Federal government, i.e. Fast and Furious or in the various proxy wars we fight. Wreaks of more NIMBY. Repeal the Patriot Act, limit/ban domestic drone usage and stop getting involved in other countries affairs as part of any comprehensive change in America.

In regards to Black Rock's comment above, it doesn't matter that McVeigh was a paranoid, far right gun nut. The fact of the matter he was hell bent on destroying that building and children were collateral damage. People of that mind set will find a way, gun or no gun. It sure as didn't stop this guy and this was 80 years ago- and no he did not use a gun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster ;

Rcc
Rcc

You are right idiot was a poor choice of words. I should have said misinformed . As far as Jesus being a liberal if you mean taking care of the poor and the sick I agree . The problem we have is the government is doing what the church should be doing and people have become to dependant on it.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

You have identified yourself as a Christian in previous posts, is it Christian to refer to those you disagree with as "idiot liberals"? Christ was a bleeding heart liberal and certainly would reject this sick obsession with guns and weapons that is rampant here in America.

galaxyjay
galaxyjay

It's always ironic that people bring up abortion during gun control arguements - you're argueing that the government should stop people from doing one thing while letting them keep doing another? Pretty hypocritcal huh?

I'm a conservative, however, the older I get the more I am against guns. Guns dont kill people - People kill people...blah blah blah. That's all BS. Don't make the guns and we don't need to worry. Let's turn into Australia and have police carry around Billie clubs instead of AK47s. I guess I just don't understand the fasination. You want a gun to hunt? That's fine get a rifle..no hand guns..no semi-autos....

GTO
GTO

How much money have you given to any organization that has a history of enabling and covering up the rape of children?

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Ah yes, the fertilizer bomb as in Timothy McVeigh, a paranoid, far right gun nut at war against an imagined government threat and willing to slaughter innocent people and children in that pursuit. By the way, we do indeed regulate fertilizer sales since his cowardly attack.

Rcc
Rcc

Maybe not a screw driver but how about fertilizer and racing fuel? Should we mke them ileagal ? It's the person it's the lack of respect for life that has caused this . If you kid tossed a rock through you neighbors window wouldn't you think he had issues that caused this ? Or would you go around your yard and try to pick up all the stones?

Rcc
Rcc

How can all you idiot liberals pretend to care about children when 75 million babies have been slaughtered since Roe vs Wade and you say or do nothing about it? You want to talk about cowards , that is the definition of being a coward.

Hoop
Hoop

That email he sent was despicable.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

I think all reasonable people agree we need to look at this problem from all sides, reasonable gun control is just one very important part of that effort. I think this particular incident has finally turned the popular opinion against the gun fanatics that have dictated our public policy for far too long.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

I got a chain e-mail from Carl Paladino today, to quote "we don't need gun control, Lanza could have killed those people with a screwdriver" Notice Carl says "people" instead of children, makes it sound less horrible. What utter nonsense, 22 children were stabbed in a school in China last week, ALL survived.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

You sir are the problem, having an "arsenal" and to be willing to use it against a police officer is despicable and reeks of cowardice.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

The twisted love affair so many Americans seem to have with guns is the problem. There is an unhealthy fascination with weapons and firepower that defies logic or reason. Until we can address that very real and widespread problem the carnage will continue. American men need to show real courage and reject the macho psturing and paranoid delusions that defines the gun culture.

oldwaiter
oldwaiter

I am not worried about a drone attack on my house, I am more concerned about a government that thinks that it can send an officer to my house and force me to give up my guns.

I assure you, many people like myself will not submit to any attempts to confiscate our humble arsenals. There are millions of brave men and women out there that will fight back.

JSmith
JSmith

If a tyrannical US government wants you dead, your assault rifle and ammunition stockpile are not going to make any difference. The government is going to have some young adult somewhere (perhaps soon at the Niagara Falls Air Force Base) target your house with a Predator drone and incinerate it with a Hellfire missile with a single squeeze of a joystick trigger.

oldwaiter
oldwaiter

From the letter--"Military-style weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines have no appropriate civilian or sporting function."

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sport, it has to do with protecting civilians from a tyranical government. What happened at Sandy-Hook created the atmosphere necessary to force the public (falsely) to demand gun-control while ignoring the other conditions that more than just contributed to this obscenity.

whatever
whatever

"immediate actions that can help make American cities safer"

Something immediate for that goal which states and counties could, if they really wanted to, start doing without any law changes would be to start more seriously enforcing current laws already on the books against violence and illegal gun possession while committing other crimes.

This could be done through policies for plea bargaining, sentencing, and parole decisions - and might also need more prosecutors, jail guards, etc.

Yes, I realize that step wouldn't have stopped what happened in Newtown, but neither would have many of the steps being suggested now - so apparently the national discussion is open to all ideas.

Quick example from recent Minnesota Ave homicide

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121211/CITYANDREGION/121219816/1010

"… But authorities confirmed Eatmon had an extensive criminal record. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery and was sentenced to one year on probation. He soon violated that probation, earning him five years on probation, court records show.

He was still on probation when police announced in February 2009 that they were searching for him in connection with the rape of a 14-year-old girl a month earlier. In May of that year, he pleaded guilty to third-degree rape and was sentenced to one year in jail, court records show.

..."

Okay, so even after he violated probation for the robbery (not burglary, robbery), he _still_ wasn't given any jail time here. Then he's convicted of rape while on parole for two previous crimes (the robbery plus first parole violation), and even after all three of those convictions he's sentenced to…. 1 year, then released back out here with all of us.

Apparently he might have done something to anger someone who killed him if he was the target. Fortunately there might not have been any bystanders also killed, but there easily could have been (and who knows, maybe even the woman killed with him was essentially a bystander, that isn't yet known). But after convictions for separate instances of robbery, rape, and parole violation - he should have been serving a very long jail sentence instead of being out doing whatever he was doing.

How come Mayors Brown & Dyster don't also complain to the state & county about the revolving door of justice in addition to asking for new federal laws?

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