Community Issues

More than 50 Mayors Meet to Discuss Fighting Gun Violence

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, others lead discussions on regulating, restricting access to firearms.

Just one day after signing a controversial package of gun control regulations into law, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto met with more than 50 other mayors from across the country to discuss ways to combat gun violence.

The Post-Gazette reports Peduto and the other mayors met with law enforcement and policy officials during the day-long conference in Toledo, OH .

We as mayors are deeply frustrated that we are the only country in the civilized world that has this level of gun violence, and it's getting worse, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley told reporters.

Mayor Bill Peduto signs gun control bill into law.

Peduto has been a vocal advocate for gun control since the Tree of Life shooting last October, when a gunman killed 11 people at the Squirrel Hill synagogue. That attack led to the new gun control laws. The city is now facing a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association, claiming the city is violating state law by regulating firearms.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz explained how his city is only purchasing firearms and ammunition for law enforcement agencies from responsible gun manufacturers. According to the Post-Gazette, the policy requires gun manufacturers to answer six questions, including whether they make or sell assault weapons for civilian use, and how dealers conduct background checks and trace weapons. Kapszukiewicz says if more cities implement a similar policy, the increased purchasing power will force gun manufacturers and dealers to reform their business and security practices.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz

Both Mayors Cranley and Peduto said they would look into a similar policy for their respective cities.

I think that what you'll see coming out of Toledo ... will basically be something that can be taken to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and then looked at being passed on a national basis, Peduto said.

The mayors also discussed so-called "red flag" laws, or ways to keep firearms out of the hands of people who present a serious risk to themselves or others.

Last weekend, Mayor Peduto met with survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, FL, where 17 people were killed last February. The survivors also met with Tree of Life survivors and were honored at a Pittsburgh Pirates game.

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