New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the country’s most outspoken proponent of new gun laws, told reporters today his office is advising Vice President Joe Biden’s task force on gun control legislation.
“We sent some of our people down to Washington, and we had some people on the phone to give Joe Biden our ideas,” Bloomberg said at a press conference in New York City this morning.
A spokesman for Bloomberg confirmed the New York City mayor has spoken with Biden about gun legislation since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Bloomberg is promoting a number of legislative and executive initiatives to develop new gun laws. He is calling for legislation that would require criminal background checks on all gun sales, limit high capacity magazines and “military style assault” weapons, and make gun trafficking a felony.
On the executive side, Bloomberg is pushing for President Obama to make a recess appointment for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for the Department of Justice to prosecute people who have failed background checks due to lying, and for the president to order all federal agencies to send data to a national background check database.
In the wake of the massacre which left 20 children and seven adults dead in Newtown, Conn., last month, Obama appointed Biden to spearhead efforts to craft recommendations for gun legislation.
The Washington Post reported this weekend that Biden’s task force is “seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors.”
Bloomberg today expressed confidence that Biden will develop a package of recommendations that will help curb gun violence.
“I think all of us know that Joe Biden is not a shrinking violet, particularly when it comes to crime and the gun problem in this country and the number of murders,” Bloomberg said. “I think what we’ve got to do to first is try to do everything we can to help Joe Biden.”