Menino’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group to score Congress on gun policy

guns
Mayors Against Illegal Guns will issue a scorecard assigning members a letter grade on their gun policy records. Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

Mayors Against Illegal Guns announced Tuesday that, for the first time, it will score votes and other official activity on firearms policy in the 113th Congress.

In a letter that will be sent to Congress today, the coalition said that it will issue a scorecard assigning members a letter grade on their gun policy records.

The coalition also released a new ad today featuring Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the ad Heslin recalls his final moments with his son and calls on Congress to take action to support sensible reforms like comprehensive background checks. The ad will air in Washington, D.C., and in key states — represented by both Democrats and Republicans — where it can most influence the upcoming Senate vote.

“We won’t let the memory of Newtown fade — we demanded a plan and we got one; now we demand action from Congress,” said Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “We’ll be paying close attention to the upcoming votes because the sensible reforms on the table are the very solutions that will help save lives.”

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns scorecard will draw on committee and floor votes, bill co-sponsorships, public statements and other sources to give voters a clear picture of their elected officials’ positions. The organization noted that it will score both procedural and substantive votes on, but not limited to, the following issues:

  • The National Instant Criminal Background Check System; State authority to establish permitting standards for concealed carrying
  • Assault weapons
  • High-capacity ammunition magazines
  • A federal gun trafficking law
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, its programs, its legal authority, its resources, and the confirmation of its director

The scorecard will weight votes according to their priority to the mayors in the coalition.

The scoring announcement and latest ad comes just as members of Congress return to Washington from recess and just before the Senate considers legislation that would require background checks for all commercial gun sales – including at gun shows, online and through classified ads.

“For too long, the only voice that has been loud enough to influence Congress has been the Washington gun lobby’s — that’s how we’ve ended up with ineffective gun laws that have fueled our country’s gun violence epidemic,” said NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also co-chairs the group.

“Now we’re working to make sure that the voices of the more than 900 bipartisan mayors in our coalition – and the 90 percent of Americans who support commonsense reforms like background checks for all gun sales – are heard loud and clear. It’s time for Congress to take action to save lives and protect our communities.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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