BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young is one of 214 mayors calling on the United States Senate to call members back to Washington, D.C. to work on bipartisan gun safety legislation.

In a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the mayors cite two bills that had been passed in the House of Representatives earlier this year that they believe would “greatly strengthen the background check system,”

They pointed out in the letter that in 2019 there have already been over 250 mass shootings in the United States.

The letter in full can be found on the United States Conference of Mayors website.

Those bills include H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 and H.R. 112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019.

H.R. 8 passed the House on February 27 on a vote of 240-190. They claimed the bill would close loopholes in the background check system by:

  • requiring all firearm purchases to undergo a NICS background check;
  • helping to prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining deadly weapons by circumventing the laws on the books;
  • prohibiting unlicensed transfers of guns through unregulated secondary sales; and
  • increasing law enforcement’s ability to trace crime guns.

H.R. 1112 passed the House on February 28 on a vote of 228-198.

“If this bill had been law in 2015, the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston might have been avoided,” The letter read. “The bill would extend the background check review period deadline from three to 10 business days, to help ensure that background checks are completed before weapons are sold and that dangerous individuals who should not have them are unable to purchase them.

The mayors urged the leaders to call the Senate back to session and take up the bills.

“Quick passage of these bills is a critical step to reducing gun violence in our country. The United States Conference of Mayors stands ready to work with Congress, the Administration and others to develop holistic remedies to the scourge of gun violence.

America has proven time and again that we can rise to our most difficult challenges. We look forward to working with you to find a way forward to protect our citizens from this senseless carnage.”

Other Maryland mayors who signed the letter include Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman, Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton, Salisbury Mayor Jacob Day and Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin.

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