Milwaukee – Mayor Tom Barrett left today for Washington, DC to attend a National Summit convened by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group he has been involved with since its inception last year. Barrett became active with the group after conversations with other U.S. Mayors about the barriers at the state and federal level to stemming the tide of illegal guns into cities across the country.
"As Mayors, we are on the front lines," said Barrett. "We have to look in the eyes of the mothers who lose their young sons in a heated argument with some thug who thinks nothing of carrying and using a handgun to solve a problem. We have to answer to the neighbors who are nervous to sit on their front porches because of the threat of a drive-by shooting. We can do many things, but until we stop the flow of illegal guns in our cities, we will not be able to successfully address the violence."
Barrett will make a presentation to the attendees on his work with local gun dealers to change their sales practices in the absence of state and federal laws to prevent straw purchases and to close loopholes that allow handguns to minors under the age of 21. One gun dealer in the Milwaukee area, Badger Outdoors, is now undertaking additional background checks on certain transactions not covered by state law and has implemented a high-tech security system which captures information then shared with local and federal law enforcement.
The meeting today comes on the heels of two recent shootings in Milwaukee that involved suspects under the age of 21 with high-powered handguns.
Barrett continued, "The U.S. Attorney General and the FBI have said that they would take a look at the crime in Milwaukee. I urge them to come and get the illegal guns off our streets!"
For more information on the Summit and to link on a live web stream of today's presentations, visit www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org