ST. LOUIS – Today, at a groundbreaking mayoral summit regarding gun violence prevention and holding the gun industry accountable, City of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, released new data on the manufacturers of guns used in crimes in Kansas City and St. Louis and called on their fellow mayors across the country to do the same. The summit was hosted by Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair New York Mayor Eric Adams, in partnership with the African American Mayors Association.
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“Gun violence is devastating St. Louis and cities across the country, and for too long, gun manufacturers have profited with zero accountability,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “We convened this summit to send a strong message to reckless actors in the gun industry: your days operating in the shadows are coming to a close.”
“Just like how Big Tobacco needed to be held accountable for its role in promulgating a generation of lung cancer patients, so too does the gun industry need to be held accountable for its role in our gun violence epidemic,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. “In Kansas City, we went after Jimenez Arms for its role in furthering gun violence, and I’m looking forward to strategizing with my fellow mayors about what’s next.”
“Moms Demand Action is proud to stand with Mayor Jones and Mayor Lucas in their work to demand gun industry accountability,” said Kim Westerman, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “For far too long, the gun industry has avoided public scrutiny for its role in our gun violence epidemic. Ending that is crucial to changing their practices and ending gun violence in the state of Missouri.”
Twelve cities published data today on the manufacturers of crime guns in their cities. The top manufacturer of recovered crime guns was Glock in 9 of the 12 reporting cities. On average, over 1.5x more Glocks were recovered than the second leading manufacturer in each of those 9 cities. Five gun manufacturers accounted for over half of the recovered crime guns: Glock (16.6%), Taurus (12.4%), Smith & Wesson (11.8%), Ruger (6.5%), and Polymer80 (3.8%). Collectively across this sample of 12 cities, these five manufacturers accounted for nearly 10,000 recovered crime guns in 2021. As of July 11, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Crime Lab has recovered 1,378 since the beginning of the year.
Additionally, with former U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach now sworn in as the first Senate-confirmed director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in nearly a decade, the mayors called on ATF to take key steps towards fulfilling its vitally important oversight role. Those measures include:
Giving cities the data and analysis needed to fully understand the flow of illegal guns and develop targeted interventions, and clarifying that the Tiahrt Amendment does not prevent cities from publicly releasing analysis of this important data;
Strongly implementing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) and aggressively enforcing the new ghost gun rule;
Cracking down on rogue gun dealers by requiring high-risk dealers to implement anti-trafficking standards; issuing a new Demand Letter to those high-risk dealers requiring them to share more information with ATF, and dramatically increasing gun dealer inspections to shut down the gun dealers who are violating the law;
Investigating the secondary commercial marketplaces that are the source of guns for gun traffickers, including online marketplaces and gun shows, and implementing a new regulation defining who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms (a provision in BSCA) to clearly define the unlicensed sellers who are unlawfully selling firearms without a background check.
In 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns as an original coalition of 15 mayors. The coalition has since grown to a bipartisan group of more than 1,000 current and former mayors from the smallest towns to the biggest cities in nearly every state.
All of the mayors who attended today’s summit are members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and nearly all are either Co-Chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) and/or Trustees of the African American Association (AAMA), including New York Mayor Eric Adams (MAIG Co-Chair, AAMA Trustee); Augusta, Georgia Mayor Hardie Davis (AAMA Trustee); Buffalo, New York Mayor Byron W. Brown (AAMA Treasurer); Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Brandon Scott (MAIG Co-Chair, AAMA Trustee); Former Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin (MAIG Co-Chair); Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas (MAIG Co-Chair); Little Rock, Arkansas Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. (AAMA President); Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam (AAMA Trustee); Montgomery, Alabama Mayor Steven Reed (AAMA 2nd Vice President); Mount Vernon, New York Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard (MAIG Co-Chair, AAMA 1st Vice President); Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ras Baraka; St. Louis, Missouri Mayor Tishaura Jones (MAIG Co-Chair); and Tampa, Florida Mayor Jane Castor (MAIG Co-Chair). Chicago, Illinois Mayor Lori Lightfoot (AAMA Trustee); and Chattanooga, Tennessee Mayor Tim Kelly (MAIG Co-Chair) also joined remotely. Several of these mayors, including the mayors of New York, Columbia, Kansas City, and Baltimore, have already taken significant steps towards holding certain members of the gun industry accountable through litigation for their contributions to our gun violence epidemic.
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