Over 200 mayors demand Mitch McConnell stop blocking gun laws

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Mitch McConnell has refused to even allow a vote on gun safety bills that Democrats have already passed in the House and that the majority of Americans support.

A coalition of over 200 mayors is demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell end his blockade on popular gun safety legislation.

On Thursday, the mayors sent a letter requesting congressional action.

"Our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them," the letter reads.

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The signatories include El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, along with the mayors of Orlando (Pulse night club shooting), Parkland (Stoneman Douglas High shooting), Pittsburgh (Tree of Life Synagogue shooting) and Annapolis (Capital Gazette shooting).

The mayors urge quick passage of H.R. 8, the enhanced background checks bill that overwhelmingly passed the Democratic-led House in February. They also want McConnell to hold a vote on H.R. 1112, another background checks bill Democrats passed.

"Quick passage of these bills is a critical step to reducing gun violence in our country," the mayors note.

McConnell has prevented the Senate from holding votes on the bills, despite widespread and bipartisan support across the political spectrum.

A poll taken after the shootings in Dayton and El Paso found that a majority of Republicans agree with Democrats and independents that this legislation should be passed. That's consistent with other polling over the last several years that has shown overwhelming support — from Democratic and Republican voters alike — for a variety of gun safety bills. But for years, congressional Republicans have refused to heed the nation's call and act on any such legislation.

McConnell recently dismissed such calls for actions as mere "theatrics," rejecting even a coalition of police chiefs who have said the bills should be passed out of a concern for public safety.

Republican leaders are ignoring the public outcry for gun control. Instead, they have echoed the NRA by nonsensically blaming video games and mental health issues for mass shootings.

Mayors are on the front lines of handling the fallout of mass shootings, along with police chiefs. They're all calling on McConnell to act before yet another mass shooting devastates yet another American city, but he is still refusing to act.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.