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The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader
United States Senate
The Capitol, S-221
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
United States Senate
The Capitol, S-230
Washington, DC 20510

Re: Over 100 Mayors Call for Background Checks Legislation   

Dear Senators, 

The mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder in recent weeks are a reminder of the vulnerabilities we face when people who should not have guns are able to access them. Every day in our cities and towns, we use all the tools at our disposal to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others. But we are in desperate need of the tools only the federal government can provide. We must close the gaping loopholes in our federal laws that have allowed illegal guns to flood our communities for far too long. For this reason, we, the undersigned mayors from across the country, call on U.S. Senators to pass background checks legislation now.

Background checks are the backbone of any comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy; they keep our communities safer and are associated with reduced rates of firearm homicide, suicide, and firearm trafficking. We know background checks work and stop sales to prohibited purchasers every day. Since 1994, background checks have blocked over 3.5 million sales to violent criminals and other prohibited people. However, current federal law only requires a background check when a gun seller is a licensed dealer, leaving all other sales, like those negotiated online or at gun shows between perfect strangers, unregulated and unchecked. While many states have closed this loophole and now require background checks for at least all handgun sales, twenty-eight states have yet to take any action and there is a massive market for gun sales where no background check is required. For this reason, the Senate must act and pass legislation to update our background check laws. 

Legislation to update background checks would save lives. These laws enjoy broad public approval, with polls routinely showing that more than 90 percent of American voters support requiring background checks on all gun sales—including 89 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of gun owners. 

The U.S. House of Representatives’ recent action on background checks legislation demonstrates the bipartisan support present for background checks, and the Senate must now join their colleagues and act. In 2019, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the African American Mayors Association both adopted resolutions at their annual meetings in support of background checks. These actions join the support of other local government and law enforcement organizations, like the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the National League of Cities, who have all called on the federal government to take up legislation on background checks. 

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has intensified our country’s gun violence crisis, it is now more important than ever for the Senate to take action on background checks.


Jason Q. Ward
Mayor of Lisman, AL

Dexter Hinton
Mayor of Marion, AL

Steven L. Reed
Mayor of Montgomery, AL

Timothy Ragland
Mayor of Talladega, AL

Lincoln E. Barnett
Mayor of Hughes, AR

Regina Romero
Mayor of Tucson, AZ

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft
Mayor of Alameda, CA

Aja Brown
Mayor of Compton, CA

Robert Garcia
Mayor of Long Beach, CA

Eric Garcetti
Mayor of Los Angeles, CA

Todd Gloria
Mayor of San Diego, CA

London N. Breed
Mayor of San Francisco, CA

Sam Liccardo
Mayor of San Jose, CA

Pat Furey
Mayor of Torrance, CA

Lindsey P. Horvath
Mayor of West Hollywood, CA

John F. Dunbar
Mayor of Yountville, CA

Sam Weaver
Mayor of Boulder, CO

Michael B. Hancock
Mayor of Denver, CO

Muriel Bowser
Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Enid Weisman
Mayor of Aventura, FL

Rebecca Tooley
Mayor of Coconut Creek, FL

Greg Ross
Mayor of Cooper City, FL

Dean Trantalis
Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, FL

Lauren Poe
Mayor of Gainesville, FL

Joy Cooper
Mayor of Hallandale Beach, FL

Dan Gelber
Mayor of Miami Beach, FL

Daniella Levine Cava
Mayor of Miami-Dade County, FL

Rick Kriseman
Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL

John Dailey
Mayor of Tallahassee, FL

Jane Castor
Mayor of Tampa, FL

Keisha Lance Bottoms
Mayor of Atlanta, GA

Deana Holiday Ingraham
Mayor of East Point, GA

Van Johnson
Mayor of Savannah, GA

Anthony S. Ford
Mayor of Stockbridge, GA

Lori E. Lightfoot
Mayor of Chicago, IL

Thomas McNamara
Mayor of Rockford, IL

Leon Rockingham, Jr.
Mayor of North Chicago, IL

Sam Cunningham
Mayor of Waukegan , IL

Michelle De La Isla
Mayor of Topeka, KS

Greg Fischer
Mayor of Louisville, KY

Adrian Perkins
Mayor of Shreveport, LA

Nicole LaChapelle
Mayor of Easthampton, MA

Yvonne Spicer
Mayor of Framingham, MA

David Narkewicz
Mayor of Northampton, MA

Brandon Scott
Mayor of Baltimore, MD

Patrick Wojahn
Mayor of College Park, MD

Jeffrey Slavin
Mayor of Takoma Park, MD

Kate Stewart
Mayor of Somerset, MD

Mike Duggan
Mayor of Detroit, MI

Andy Schor
Mayor of Lansing, MI

Mike Maguire
Mayor of Eagan, MN

Terry W. Briggs
Mayor of Bridgeton, MO

Grant Mabie
Mayor of Crestwood, MO

Quinton Lucas
Mayor of Kansas City, MO

Lyda Krewson
Mayor of St. Louis, MO

Chokwe A. Lumumba
Mayor of Jackson, MS

Diane Delaware
Mayor of Yazoo City, MS

Ian Baltutis
Mayor of Burlington, NC

Lydia Lavelle
Mayor of Carrboro, NC

Vi Lyles
Mayor of Charlotte, NC

Pam Hemminger
Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC

Steve Schewel
Mayor of Durham, NC

Eulis Willis
Mayor of Navassa, NC

Dontario Hardy
Mayor of Kinston, NC

Leirion Gaylor Baird
Mayor of Lincoln, NE

Colleen Mahr
Mayor of Fanwood, NJ

Sean M. Spiller
Mayor of Montclair Township, NJ

Jeffrey Grayzel
Mayor of Morris Township, NJ

Allen Morgan
Mayor of New Providence, NJ

Andre Sayegh
Mayor of Paterson, NJ

Joseph Signorello III
Mayor of Roselle Park, NJ

Tim Keller
Mayor of City of Albuquerque, NM

Byron W. Brown
Mayor of Buffalo, NY

Nicola Armacost
Mayor of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Steven T. Noble
Mayor of Kingston, NY

Noam Bramson
Mayor of New Rochelle, NY

Bruce Tucker
Mayor of Piermont, NY

Peter Scherer
Mayor of Pleasantville, NY

Lovely Warren
Mayor of Rochester, NY

Ben Walsh
Mayor of Syracuse, NY

Steve Patterson
Mayor of Athens, OH

John Cranley
Mayor of Cincinnati, OH

Andrew J. Ginther
Mayor of Columbus, OH

Nan Whaley
Mayor of Dayton, OH

Kathy Mulcahy
Mayor of Orange Village, OH

Wade Kapszukiewicz
Mayor of Toledo, OH

Dwan B. Walker
Mayor of Aliquippa, PA

Jeanne Sorg
Mayor of Ambler, PA

Emily Marburger
Mayor of Bellevue, PA

Mark Barbee
Mayor of Bridgeport, PA

Sal Panto
Mayor of Easton, PA

Eric Papenfuse
Mayor of Harrisburg, PA

Gretchen Dosch
Mayor of Kittanning, PA

Danene Sorace
Mayor of Lancaster, PA

David Burton
Mayor of Malvern Borough, PA

William P. Moon Jr.
Mayor of Oil City, PA

James Kenney
Mayor of Philadelphia, PA

William Peduto
Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA

Paige Gebhardt Cognetti
Mayor of Scranton, PA

Jorge Elorza
Mayor of Providence, RI

Patsy Rhett
Mayor of Bowman, SC

Steve Benjamin
Mayor of Columbia, SC

William Johnson
Mayor of Holly Hill, SC

Lovith Anderson Jr.
Mayor of Lake City, SC

Michael Butler
Mayor of Orangeburg, SC

Donnie L Hilliard
Mayor of Santee, SC

Jerald E. Sanders
Mayor of Swansea, SC

Mike Palazzolo
Mayor of Germantown, TN

Indya Kincannon
Mayor of Knoxville, TN

Jim Strickland
Mayor of Memphis, TN

John Cooper
Mayor of Nashville, TN

Sylvester Turner
Mayor of Houston, TX

Dr. Larry Wallace Jr.
Mayor of Manor, TX

McKinley Price, DDS
Mayor of Newport News, VA

Levar Stoney
Mayor of Richmond, VA

Jennifer Gregerson
Mayor of Mukilteo, WA

Jenny Durkan
Mayor of Seattle, WA

Bryan Kennedy
Mayor of Glendale, WI

Satya Rhodes-Conway
Mayor of Madison, WI

Tom Barrett
Mayor of Milwaukee, WI