PORTLAND – New Portland Mayor Charlie Hales raised his voice Monday along with a national coalition of more than 800 mayors calling for Congress to enact stricter gun control laws.
Hales held a news conference Monday morning to urge lawmakers to require background checks, ban military style assault weapons, and make gun trafficking a federal crime.
The mayor pledged his support to Oregon gun control legislation in his 2013 agenda, which he will present to the city council on Wednesday.
“It wasn't one of the issues when I ran for office, but it’s been made obvious to me and to everyone else here in Portland and across the county that it’s something, as a community leader, I should take on and I will,” he said.
Hales also joins a coalition of mayors who chose the one-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn., to make the joint plea. Twenty children were shot dead at that school by a gunman using a semi-automatic rifle.
“We have to get angry. And we have to stay angry,” Hales said. “Gun violence is not acceptable. We need action now.”
He was joined in the effort Monday by Portland-area families of gun death victims.
Last week, Hales joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization of around 800 mayors in the United States calling on the President and Congress to act on the illegal use of firearms across the county.
The group, which includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is calling on Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, require background checks for all gun sales, and make gun trafficking a federal crime.
The advocacy group also released a new television ad featuring families who have been hurt by gun violence.