Image: Mayors convene on gun control
Bebeto Matthews  /  Pool via AP
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, center left, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, center right, lead a group of mayors from around the country for the first National Summit on Illegal Guns in New York on Tuesday.
updated 4/25/2006 9:10:16 PM ET 2006-04-26T01:10:16

The mayors of more than a dozen U.S. cities gathered at a summit aimed at purging the streets of illegal guns, with organizers saying the federal government is not doing enough to stop the problem.

“If the leadership won’t come from Congress or from the White House, it will have to come from us,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who led the summit with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

The mayors — from cities including Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Milwaukee and Seattle — gathered to exchange ideas, consult with experts and promote law enforcement cooperation among their cities.

They signed a resolution to combat gun violence, and Bloomberg said they hope to come back in greater numbers for a gathering later this year. The mayors hope to eventually establish a public relations campaign to pressure the federal government and state legislatures.

Menino said he met recently with a sixth-grade class in Boston in which nine out of 10 pupils said they knew where they could find a gun. The 73 homicides in Boston last year marked the highest number in 10 years, he said.

“Gun crime is a national problem that needs a national response,” Menino said, noting that many guns used in Boston murders last year came from other states.

Gun control high priority in New York
Bloomberg has made gun control a high priority in his second term. Crime statistics show the number of shootings this year is slightly lower than last year, but high-profile gun deaths — like that of a toddler killed by a stray bullet on Easter Sunday — continue to hold a spotlight on the issue.

The mayors criticized bills in Congress that they said would limit the ability of states and cities to cooperate and share information with the federal government. The mayors’ resolution asks cities to oppose those efforts.

It also promises to give those who commit crimes the harshest punishment allowed and to target gun dealers who break the law. And the mayors resolved to support legislation to fight gun crimes and to develop technology to detect and trace illegal guns.

Those attending also included the mayors of Providence, R.I.; Hartford, Conn.; Trenton, N.J.; Jersey City, N.J.; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Jackson, Miss.

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