Mayor-Elect Kenney Joins Mayors Against Illegal Guns
PHILADELPHIA – Today, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national, bipartisan coalition of mayors united in the goal of ending gun violence. The move reinforced the commitment he made during his campaign to fight for stronger firearm regulations that save lives by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Mayors Against Illegal Guns is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, America’s largest gun violence prevention organization.
“It seems that every week we hear another heartbreaking story of a mass shooting or a school shooting somewhere in the country, and almost every day we read about gun violence on the streets of Philadelphia,” Kenney said. “For almost a decade, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has focused on preventing this carnage and bringing logic and pragmatism to our gun laws. I’m proud to join together with mayors of big cities and small towns across America in the fight to prevent gun violence.”
Former Philadelphia Mayor John Street was one of 15 U.S. mayors who came together to form Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006. The coalition has since grown to more than 1,000 current and former mayors across the United States, including nearly 200 sitting Pennsylvania mayors in 57 counties. Current Mayor Michael Nutter has been an active member and a national leader in the gun violence prevention movement alongside Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Last year, the coalition became part of Everytown for Gun Safety when it merged with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots group formed on Facebook the day after twenty elementary school children were murdered in Newtown Connecticut.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns has consistently fought to close the deadly loophole that allows felons, domestic abusers and people with severe mental illness to purchase guns from private sellers without background checks. The coalition also has been a persistent voice for strengthening current laws that are soft on illegal gun trafficking. In recent days, Everytown has renewed its longtime efforts to call attention to the Terror Gap, which has allowed more than 2,000 individuals on terrorism watch lists to legally purchase guns.
As Councilman, Kenney supported local policies that required reporting of lost or stolen guns and helped to establish the focused deterrence pilot program in Southwest Philadelphia. He vigorously opposed Pennsylvania’s “Stand Your Ground” law and Act 192, which expanded state preemption of local gun laws and empowered the National Rifle Association to sue cities over local gun regulations.
“We’re pleased to welcome Jim Kenney to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and I look forward to working with him toward common sense gun policies in Harrisburg and in Washington,” said Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray, the coalition’s Pennsylvania chairman. “Gun violence is not just a big city problem, it affects families and entire neighborhoods throughout the Commonwealth and across the country. Jim Kenney knows that by working together for smarter laws, we can save lives in America.”