A coalition of mayors is meeting today in Chicago to talk about strategies for fighting illegal guns and for winning tougher state and federal gun laws, reports USA Today. “A large majority of Americans want some form of common-sense gun legislation,” said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley at a session of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “They don’t want irresponsible dealers to be allowed to sell guns in bulk to gang-bangers.” The group was organized in April by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and includes 109 cities in 44 states, among them Los Angeles, Denver, Little Rock, Miami, Atlanta, St. Louis, Omaha, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
The mayors’ immediate goal is to stop proposed federal legislation that would permanently bar disclosure of gun-tracing data by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Once available to cities, the national database has been restricted by Congress every year since 2003. The data had been used by police departments to pinpoint the origin of crime guns. The House has passed the bill; its prospects in the Senate are uncertain. The National Rifle Association says cities should enforce existing gun laws.