Gun violence is a serious threat to public safety and it affects communities across the country. Leaders in these communities are all too familiar with the toll gun violence takes and have an essential role to play in addressing it.
In 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns as an original coalition of 15 mayors. The coalition has since grown to a bipartisan group of more than 1,000 current and former mayors from the smallest towns to the biggest cities in nearly every state.
Our mayors are leaders in advocating for life-saving gun safety reforms from local programs to state and federal legislation.
To learn more about Mayors Against Illegal Guns or to join the coalition, send us a message at [email protected]
Statement of Principles
Every mayor who joins the coalition is asked to sign the following statement of principles:
Whereas: Over 35,000 Americans are killed every year as a result of gun suicide and gun homicide – devastating families and communities across the country;
Whereas: Nearly 90,000 Americans are injured every year as a result of gun assaults, unintentional shootings, attempted gun suicides and shootings by law enforcement;
Whereas: As mayors, our problems may look different from town to town, but we are united in our duty to do everything we can to protect our residents from the threat of gun violence;
Now, therefore, we resolve to work together to advance the following principles:
- Advance enforcement strategies that ensure public safety for residents in communities disproportionately affected by gun violence. Support evidence-based, intelligence-led policing that focuses on preventing violence among those at highest risk of shooting or being shot and promote the enforcement of existing gun laws that have swift and certain consequences.
- Advocate for gun safety legislation at the local, state, and federal level. Support life-saving gun violence prevention laws like comprehensive background checks, domestic violence firearm relinquishment, and Red Flag laws; and oppose harmful laws, like Stand Your Ground, permitless carry, guns in schools, and state preemption.
- Collect data to better understand gun violence in our communities. Analyze trends in gun suicides, homicides, and non-fatal injuries over time, and map gun violence incidents to identify the communities, neighborhoods, and individuals most impacted.
- Advance policies and practices that reduce firearm suicides. Raise public awareness and advance education about the risks of firearm access; encourage the responsible storage of firearms to prevent access by children; and create mechanisms to temporarily remove firearms from households with individuals in crisis.
- Invest in victim services and neighborhood-level violence intervention programs. Help disrupt cycles of violence by investing in comprehensive services for victims and in gun violence intervention and prevention programs, understanding that gun homicides and assaults tend to be concentrated in low-income neighborhoods and are often retaliatory in nature.
- Implement comprehensive tracing of crime guns. Encourage police to trace all suspected crime guns to identify the sources of firearms, to develop leads, and to identify potential traffickers. Target illegal supply, including holding accountable irresponsible gun dealers who knowingly sell to straw purchasers and the criminals who traffic in illegal guns.
- Implement strategies to minimize shootings by police. Introduce and invest in de-escalation and procedural justice training, public reporting of police use of force, and other tactics designed to minimize police shootings.
- Use the courts to advance gun safety. Challenge dangerous gun lobby-sponsored laws that limit the ability of cities to advance gun violence prevention in their communities and fight in court to defend local gun safety ordinances against preemption and Second Amendment challenges.
- Use purchasing power to improve gun safety. Encourage businesses to implement gun sense policies, including by using municipal purchasing, investing, and bond-issuing power to incentivize businesses large and small to adopt reforms that keep their customers – and your city – safer.
- Invite other cities to join us in this effort.