Announcement Comes On the Heels of the Fourth Annual Gun Violence Survivors Week; Last Week, President Biden Traveled to New York to Meet with Mayor Adams, Other Leaders Regarding Recent Gun Violence
NEW YORK — Today, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, announced 10 new co-chairs – the first new co-chairs Mayors Against Illegal Guns has had since its founding in 2006. The new co-chairs join founding chair Mike Bloomberg as leaders of the nonpartisan coalition, and include: Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Brandon Scott; Chattanooga, Tennessee Mayor Tim Kelly; Former Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin; Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas; Mount Vernon, New York Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard; New York, New York Mayor Eric Adams; Former Stockton, California Mayor Michael Tubbs; St. Louis, Missouri Mayor Tishaura Jones; Tampa, Florida Mayor Jane Castor; and Tucson, Arizona Mayor Regina Romero.
“In 2006, when Congress wasn’t willing to take on the NRA, Tom Menino and I teamed up with other mayors to create an organization that would – and did, very effectively,” said Mike Bloomberg, founding chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and 108th mayor of New York City. “It’s great to see the next generation of mayors band together and pick up the fight. The more that mayors work together – and stand together in state capitols and Congress – the more able our cities will be to stop crime and save lives.”
“If we are going to dam the many rivers that lead to the sea of gun violence, mayors must join hands and work together and deliver for their citizens,” said New York, New York Mayor Eric Adams. “We must step up and work together, in collaboration with our federal and state leaders to fight this crisis, get guns off our streets, and spread what works. I’m grateful to Everytown for Gun Safety for convening this extraordinary group of leaders.”
“America’s mayors are on the frontlines of America’s gun violence epidemic, but they can’t win this fight without help from leaders at all levels of government,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Every corner of America has been touched by gun violence, which means that every elected official needs to put ensuring public safety ahead of scoring political points.”
In 2006, then-New York City Mayor Bloomberg and then-Boston Mayor Menino founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns as an original coalition of 15 mayors. The coalition has since grown to a nonpartisan group of more than 1,000 current and former mayors from the smallest towns to the biggest cities in nearly every state. In 2013, Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns came together to form Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization now with more than 8 million supporters.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns members implement and advocate for life-saving gun safety reforms from local community violence intervention programs and enforcement strategies, to municipal-level gun safety ordinances, and state and federal legislation. The newly announced co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns will serve two year terms. During their tenure, co-chairs will provide leadership and stewardship for the coalition and advise on priorities and policies.
Last Week, President Biden traveled to New York to meet with Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair Mayor Eric Adams to discuss gun violence and unveil a suite of new gun safety initiatives aimed at curbing gun violence. While leaning in on federal, state, and local law enforcement partnerships to crack down on gun violence and gun trafficking, the President gave particular focus to ghost guns, the fastest growing gun safety threat in the country. The President also focused on addressing the illegal guns that move through the “Iron Pipeline” and prioritizing the prosecution of unlicensed dealers who sell guns without a background check. Everytown’s analysis of gun trace data shows the significant impact of interstate gun trafficking: over the past five years, approximately a third of the one million guns recovered in crimes crossed state lines, the vast majority originating in states that lack fundamental gun safety laws. Additionally, the President called on Congress to reach an agreement on Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations that includes $200 million in dedicated grant funding for community-based violence intervention programs, further underscoring his commitment to local violence prevention and intervention strategies.
The announcement comes on the heels of the fourth annual National Gun Violence Survivors Week, which took place February 1-7. By early February, more Americans are killed by gun violence than are killed in other high-income nations in an entire year. National Gun Violence Survivors Week seeks to share and amplify the stories of gun violence survivors who live every day with the agonizing and unending impact of gun violence.
Last week, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, released a new report: “When the Shooting Stops: The Impact of Gun Violence on Survivors in America.” The report provides an in-depth look at the lasting emotional, physical, legal, and financial traumas on America’s gun violence survivors and their communities. The report is the most geographically comprehensive to date, with respondents from 46 states, and the broadest, looking at a full spectrum of survivors, ranging from mass shootings and intimate-partner gun violence, to suicide, community gun violence, and more.