City leaders approve of Obama's gun control plan but urge for more action
The mayor and other New York elected leaders say the president took a step in the right direction Wednesday by announcing more gun control measures, but said he needs to work faster.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been chastising the president since Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., said he supported President Barack Obama's commission to create tougher gun laws.
"The task force must move quickly with its work, as 34 Americans will be murdered with guns every day that passes without common sense reforms to our laws," Bloomberg said in a statement.
Obama didn't offer any specifics for his plan, but said that Vice President Joe Biden would lead an interagency commission that will examine the various mass shooting incidents and introduce new proposals to Congress by January at the latest.
Bloomberg pushed the president to take immediate action like appointing a chief to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and ordering all federal agencies to share their data with the national gun database. "There should be no delay in taking these steps," Bloomberg said.
City Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Astoria), however, said he was unimpressed with the president's proposal because it won't produce immediate change.
Last week's deadly shooting showed that dangerous people can get guns easily, the councilman said.
"No one should ever get a weapon without a background check, and we don't need a committee to report back to us on that," he said.
Several New York City gun and rifle range owners refused to comment about the president's plan.
Outspoken gun control activist Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Nassau) said she thinks the president is fully committed to cracking down on gun prevalence, because he, like many Americans, was affected emotionally by the deaths of 20 children.
"We all saw his tears when he spoke the day of the shooting. He spoke as a parent and there's no doubt he was sincere," she told MSNBC Wednesday.