Updated 01/11/2011 03:18 PM
Bloomberg Calls On Federal Government To Strengthen Gun Laws
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg is calling on the federal government to strengthen laws to keep drug addicts and abusers from obtaining weapons.
The mayor was joined by Congressman Peter King, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and fellow members of Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition for the announcement at City Hall Tuesday.
They pointed out loopholes in the nation's gun laws that they say have allowed unstable individuals to purchase fire arms legally.
The mayor said that the "system that's supposed to protect us from dangerous and deranged people has failed."
"This isn't an ideological battle,” said the mayor. “It is about enforcing the law, pure and simple.”
Bloomberg's comments come several days after a 22-year-old man opened fire outside an Arizona supermarket, killing six and wounded 14 others, including a congresswoman.
Jared Lee Loughner is being held without bail.
Authorities say that Loughner had a history of drug use and was denied entry into the military because he failed drug tests.
Congressman King said today that he will introduce legislation that makes it federal crime to carry a concealed weapon within 1,000 feet of an elected or appointed federal official.
“We have to have regulations modified and improved, enhanced,” said King. “Laws have been passed; they haven't been sufficiently enforced. The regulations have not been inclusive enough, so we have to move forward on that.”
“We're going to give some recommendation to security directors, but we certainly can't prepare for every contingency, every emergency,” said the police commissioner.
Bloomberg says there are three common sense steps to take in order to fix the nation's gun laws. They include fixing background checks, improving communication between federal agencies, and appointing a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.