In the aftermath of the Newtown school tragedy, five Great Neck area mayors this week joined a bipartisan coalition of more than 750 mayors urging Pres. Barack Obama to put forward an agenda to make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them.
Joining Mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York and Thomas Menino of Chicago and other leaders across the nation in a call for action, the group of local village leaders endorsed a letter to the president as part of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Included on the list are Mayors Matthew Bloomfield of Russell Gardens; Jean Celender of Great Neck Plaza; Ronald Cooper of Lake Success; Ralph Kreitzman of Great Neck Village and Susan Lopatkin of Kensington, all endorsing the Dec. 19 letter sent to the White House.
"As mayors, we are charged with keeping our communities safe. But too many of us have sat with mothers and fathers of children killed with guns. Twenty-four children enrolled in public schools in your hometown of Chicago were shot to death just last year," stated the letter.
The group is asking for an end to high capacity rifles and ammunition; criminal background checks for gun buyers; increased penalties against gun traffickers. the appointment of a Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco director; a requirement for federal agencies to report records to the NICS; and a repeal of Tihart restrictions which the coalition says restricts access to federal gun data.
"Our constituents are also outraged and looking for leadership from the White House," the letter states. "We look forward to working with you to find a solution to gun violence in our country.
Not on the list of names on the letter were village Mayors Dan Levy of Saddle Rock, Robert Stern of Thomaston, David Fox of Great Neck Estates and Michael Kalnick of Kings Point.
Look in photo section for PDF of letter in its entirety.