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April 8, 2009

Anti-gun Mayors’ Group At It Again

Manuel A. (Manny) Diaz, mayor of Miami and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, issued a press release this week highlighting the anti-gun group’s national agenda.

The mayors’ group has a history of supporting anti-gun efforts so it’s not surprising that the release was chock-full of incorrect information regarding firearms and gun laws. NSSF fired off a letter to the editor of the Sun Herald, which ran the release, seeking to set the record straight for readers.

It’s unfortunate, albeit not surprising, that big-city mayors, who only see firearms in their most negative context, are attempting to impose their will nationally. A look at the facts belies their call for still more gun control.

So let's set the record straight:

1. What has erroneously been termed an "assault weapon" is a basic rifle that fires just one bullet with each pull of the trigger. What differentiates a so-called "assault weapon" from other guns is cosmetic; for example, the type of stock on the gun. True “assault rifles” or machine guns have been heavily regulated since 1934.

2. Less than one percent (0.7) of criminals acquire their guns from gun shows (Bureau of Justice Statistics) and federal law requires all licensed firearms retailers to run FBI background checks on every purchaser of every gun sold, including sales at gun shows.

3. Federal law already requires that firearms dealers report multiple sales of handguns to federal law enforcement (ATF) and local police chiefs. Limiting the firearms purchased by law-abiding Americans will not curb crime.

4. The Fraternal Order of Police and ATF support keeping firearms trace data restricted to law enforcement use only in order to protect the safety of law enforcement officers and the integrity of their investigations. No law enforcement agency has ever been denied trace data as part of a bona-fide investigation.

5. Ballistic imaging of new guns has been in place in two states–Maryland and New York–for more than eight years. It has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and has yet to solve a single crime because the microscopic marks left on cartridge cases change over time due to normal wear and tear.

Maligning a legitimate industry and its many
millions of law-abiding consumers is as inappropriate as it is unproductive in stopping criminals who willfully
disobey the law.

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