DURHAM The mayors of Chapel Hill, Durham and Morrisville called Monday for Congress to enact common-sense gun-law reforms.
They were among more than 800 U.S. mayors who issued a coordinated statement on behalf of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns lobbying organization.
Their statement called for:
• Requiring criminal background checks for all gun buyers.
• Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
• Making gun trafficking a federal crime.
In a City Hall press event, they presented a television ad sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns featuring relatives of gun-violence victims calling on Congress to curb firearm violence.
Uma Loganathan of Blacksburg, Va., who appears in the ad, joined the mayors in Durham. Her father, a civil-engineering professor, was murdered in his classroom during the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.
Loganathan said the mayors had asked her to come.
Seeing them want to take safer measures was really encouraging for both me and my family, Loganathan said. A state with a Southern culture ... where firearms are, if not an important part of their lives, at least a part of their lives theyre familiar with.
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said the measures are simple reforms we ... have been calling for for some time. He spoke along with Mayor Bill Bell of Durham and Mayor Jackie Holcombe of Morrisville.
The statement was issued one month after the Newtown, Conn., shootings that killed 20 first-grade children and six adults.
I cant tell you how disappointed I am that we even need to be here this morning, Holcombe said. But this is the right time to have this discussion.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns was formed in 2006 to lobby for improved firearm laws in the interest of public safety. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino are its current co-chairmen. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton are also among its members listed at bitly.com/27fEH1.