Guns, criminals and the mentally ill

Posted on 03/03/2013

The series of mass shootings across America brings into clear focus the need to take concrete steps to limit the ability of criminals, spouse abusers and the mentally ill to access guns. We are at a critical moment that opens the possibilities to common sense reforms such as uniform background checks, limits on the number of bullets in a gun clip and outlawing military style assault weapons.

The St. Petersburg City Council voted 8-0 last month to ask Congress to require uniform background checks. This is supported by 92% of the voters but still will be an uphill struggle when Congress begins debating this in March. The core of the problem is that criminals are able to purchase guns easily without background checks at gun shows, from gun trafficers, and from "private sales". Check the paper when a violent felon is arrested. They usually illegally have a handgun. While we obviously will not be able to completely cutoff the supply of illegal guns, we certainly should do what we can.

The effort to limit the flow of illegal guns is being lead by the 850 Mayors across the country who have joined Mayors against Illegal Guns. Additional information is available at

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