“The single biggest thing you can do to reduce gun violence in our country that would do no damage to the Second Amendment is to make sure that those sales in this country are subject to a background check,” said Mark Glaze, the Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “The Mancin-Toomey bill that the Senate voted on would have done that and we remain committed to passing a bill to accomplish those goals and save lives.”
“We know that background checks or laws make a difference,” said John Feinblatt, Chief Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is co-chair of the group. “When you compare the 14 or so states that have standing background checks to cover private sales and compare them to the states that have not, we find that there are 38% fewer domestic violence murders with guns in states that closed the background check loopholes. There are 39% fewer law enforcement officers killed with guns in those states that closed those loopholes, 49% fewer suicides with guns in the states that closed those loopholes and 17% fewer aggravated assaults with guns, including attempted murder, in states that closed those loopholes.”
The group cited major public support as a reason to continue pushing for legislation.
“This was legislation that more than 90% of Americans supported,” said John Feinblatt, Chief Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is co-chair of the coalition. “It was supported overwhelmingly by gun owners, supported by the majority of NRA members and when Senators vote down a bill with such overwhelming support among the public, there is going to be outrage and we've seen that outrage persist since April 17th. I think Americans feel Congress did not represent them on April 17th. Many members of congress placed a higher hierarchy on the safety of their seats over the safety of Americans. We know that many voters, whether they be survivors or whether they be law enforcement officials or mayors or domestic violence advocates or moms or grandparents, want their voice to be heard. They want to educate the public about gun violence and they want to hold Congress accountable.”
The group also cited the need to reinvigorate the conversation of gun legislation and create a constant presence, as opposed to having the discussion confined to the weeks following a tragedy. “It's a chance to make sure that this issue doesn’t fade,” said Feinblatt. “It's a chance to give a voice to the overwhelming percent of Americans who feel that Congress let them down, who feel that congress sided with special interests rather than the American public.”
The announcement coincided with Vice President Joe Biden's announcement of a White House event focused on Gun Control on June 18. While the group said they haven't spoken with Biden or President Obama regarding the event, they welcome them to assist during the tour.
There was no mention of a Florida stop. Sen. Bill Nelson voted for Mancin-Toomey, while Sen. Marco Rubio opposed it.