Thomas Roberts   |  June 21, 2013

US mayors make renewed push for gun reform

The U.S. Conference of Mayors kicks off on Friday and headlining its agenda is a renewed push for stronger background checks for gun buyers. Baltimore Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings Blake joins MSNBC’s Craig Melvin to discuss their efforts.

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>>> is what membership is.

>>> mayors from cities across the country are making a new push for stricter gun buys. that will be on the agenda as the u.s. conference of mayors kicks off their summer meeting in las vegas today. this is the first time they are meeting since the senate voted down a bill that would have expanded background checks . stephan stephanie rawlings blake is here. thank you for being here.

>> good to be seen.

>> vice president joe biden called on congress to act, what do you hope to hear from the vice president today on the issue?

>> his continued frustration and his continued push. the obama administration and the vice president in particular has been very forceful in his support of stronger gun laws . the fact of the matter is 90% of americans believe that we should make it harder for people with violent backgrounds, people who mean to do us harm to get their hands on guns with expanded background checks . americans want to see congress work. they want to see compromise, they want to see them work towards a safer country. and i think we can get there.

>> you mentioned the 90% of folks who have said in poll after poll they would like to see stronger background checks in this country. have those people lobbied hard enough? have they been effective lobbyers?

>> i think the problem is when you ask people about gun control and expanded background checks , a lot of people think that the things that we are fighting for are already in law. we have seen the numbers. we have seen the polls. people think the common sense laws that we are fighting for are already in effect.

>> you're part of the mayors against illegal guns coalition . recently that group funded by and large by new york city mayor michael bloomberg , they have been targeting senators who voted against the gun background checks bill do. you think that's something that could turn the tide?

>> well, it certainly worked on the republican side to target those who are waivering from the nra positions. i support mayor bloomberg . he fights hard and smart. and we have to get tough with members of our own party to make sure that we understand as a group, as a party, that we are not going to take the backseat. we are going to be leaders. to make sure we have common sense gun laws in the country.

>> major stephanie rawlings blake , thank you for your time.