New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell Speaks Out On Illegal Guns

New Bedford, Massachusetts–Mayor Jon Mitchell testified today on behalf of the group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), in favor of measures that will help curb the threat posed by illegal firearms.

The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, chaired by House Chairman Harold Naughton and Senate Chairman James Timilty, is holding the first in a series of public hearings throughout the Commonwealth. Today’s hearing was held at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable.

Mayor Mitchell encouraged state lawmakers to build on the Commonwealth’s status as a leader in common sense gun safety legislation while MAIG continues to focus its efforts at the federal level and demand Congress address the gun violence epidemic.

“My prior experience as a federal prosecutor has had a deep and lasting influence on my views on illegal guns. Having spent nearly a decade as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, I am acutely aware of the threat to public safety posed by illegal guns. And I am very familiar with the risks that our men and women in law enforcement take every day to protect innocent civilians from gun violence,” said Mitchell.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino applauded Mitchell’s testimony, “I’m grateful to Mayor Mitchell for speaking today on behalf of our coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and encouraging the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security to act on legislation that will strengthen our state’s gun laws.”

Menino added, “Massachusetts must continue to lead the way on sensible reforms as we work together to make our neighborhoods safer.”

MAIG’s top federal legislative priorities includes: (1) fixing the broken background check system and requiring a criminal background check for every gun sale; (2) banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and (3) creating a federal gun trafficking statute with real penalties for those who traffic illegal guns into our cities.”

Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) is a bipartisan coalition of nearly 1,000 mayors from big cities and small towns across the nation, co-chaired by Boston Mayor Tom Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, dedicated to making America’s communities safer by cracking down on illegal guns. In Massachusetts, 30 mayors are members of MAIG.

MAIG has amassed more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making it the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The group believes that support for the Second Amendment goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people.

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