SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and other city officials announced their support Monday for a national campaign aimed at lobbying Congress for federal gun control reforms.
Coss was joined at a news conference at police headquarters by Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Wurzburger, City Councilor Patti Bushee and local law enforcement officials. Coss said he also plans to travel to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to lobby with other mayors.
“Gun violence is a national epidemic that is claiming American lives everywhere, from New Mexico to Newtown,” he said. “A month after one of the country’s deadliest shooting rampages in history, I am urging Congress to take meaningful action that will help prevent future tragedies.”
More than 800 mayors across the nation belong to the organization called “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” The group is pushing for criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private sales and sales at gun shows. They’re also seeking renewal of a national ban on the sale of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, and they want to make gun trafficking a federal crime.
Mayors in Albuquerque and Las Cruces are not participating. However, Albuquerque has started a voluntary program for people to turn in unwanted guns. So far, a city spokeswoman said 91 guns, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and eight pounds of powder have been collected.
Santa Fe bought back nearly 200 weapons as part of its first gun buyback event on Saturday. The city is planning two more events in February and March.
Coss said Monday the goal is to keep guns “out of the wrong hands.”