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Bloomberg Campaign Press Release - Mike Bloomberg Releases New Gun Safety Policy Agenda, Building On Proven Track Record Tackling Gun Violence

December 05, 2019

Aurora, Colorado – Following a meeting with survivors of gun violence and community leaders in Aurora, Colorado, Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg unveiled a new gun safety policy agenda aimed at stopping the epidemic of gun violence in America. Today's announcement builds on Mike's record as a leading advocate for gun violence prevention for over a decade. Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. The impact of gun violence reaches well beyond these casualties—gun violence shapes the lives of millions of Americans who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting.

As Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg co-founded a national coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2006 to push for stronger local, state, and federal gun safety laws, that grew to include 1,000 fellow mayors. Mayors Against Illegal Guns had major victories in Congress, helping to partially repeal the so-called "Tiahrt" budget riders that blocked law enforcement from accessing crime gun trace data and repeatedly stopping the gun lobby's top legislative priority, concealed carry reciprocity, from being passed.

Mike merged Mayors Against Illegal Guns with the grassroots group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and, in 2014, helped found the legislative, electoral, and cultural powerhouse Everytown for Gun Safety—which has six million supporters and is the leading voice in a movement that has changed the country.

The comprehensive gun safety agenda released today includes five key pillars designed to create an effective background checks system, keep guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, protect young people in schools and Americans in their homes, tackle daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities, and confront the gun industry head-on.

Bloomberg introduced the policy in remarks following a meeting that included survivors of gun violence, as well as State Representative Tom Sullivan, whose son was killed in the Aurora, CO shooting in 2012. In his remarks, Bloomberg pledged to continue his work treating the gun violence crisis like a true national emergency and promised to keep gun safety a top priority now that he is a candidate.

"I've been all in on the fight against gun violence for 15 years – and I'm just getting started," said Mike Bloomberg. "As president, I will work to end the gun violence epidemic once and for all. My agenda will make it harder for criminals to get guns, make families and communities more secure, and give law enforcement the tools to save lives – and, working with Congress, I will get the job done."

"This issue of gun safety is not just political, it's deeply personal for me and my family, as we work tirelessly to honor the memory of our son and other communities ravaged by gun violence," said State Representative Tom Sullivan. "Mike Bloomberg is not just talking about the issue, he's created a serious plan to address it. I am supporting Mike as someone who has never been afraid to take on the gun lobby and make this issue a top priority. He is exactly what this country needs right now."

"Given the significant progress we've made in the past six years working together, it's no surprise that Mayor Bloomberg has put forward a bold and comprehensive agenda to address a gun violence crisis that claims 100 lives every day in America and wounds hundreds more," said Shannon Watts, gun violence prevention advocate and founder of Moms Demand Action. "This is an extraordinary moment as presidential candidates are vying to be the biggest and boldest on the issue of gun safety, in stark contrast to past cycles, where candidates frequently hid. After Mayor Bloomberg's many years of working to end gun violence, it makes sense that he is now centering his campaign on this life or death issue."

Bloomberg's Comprehensive Gun Safety Policy Proposal Includes:

1. More effective background checks. Create an effective background check system so that no one can purchase a gun without passing a completed background check.

  • Require point-of-sale background checks for all gun sales and finally close the private sale loophole, which enables prohibited people to buy guns simply by finding unlicensed sellers at gun shows or on the Internet.
  • Require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase.
  • Use sales records to identify crime guns and notify local police when individuals have been prohibited from having a gun. A central system will let local authorities know when a gun owner has become barred from having firearms – due to a criminal conviction or a restraining order
  • Allow for extreme risk screening before guns are purchased so that issuers are equipped to deny permits to troubled people who pose a danger to themselves or others.
  • Curb the dangers of downloadable guns and ghost guns, including by reversing Trump's proposed firearm export regulations that loosen oversight of gun exports which would make it easier to publish 3D-printing gun blueprints online.

2. Keep guns out of the wrong hands. Fifty-two women are shot and killed by an intimate partner every month in the U.S. This proposal is designed to close loopholes, including one that prohibits married domestic abusers from possessing guns, but not unmarried ones.

  • Close the "boyfriend loophole" which allows domestic abusers to have guns, despite criminal convictions or restraining orders—simply because they are not married to their victims.
  • Pass a federal red flag law that expands extreme risk orders to 50 states—and funds state efforts to maximize the policy.
  • Require gun buyers to be at least 21 years old to buy handguns and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
  • Set a temporary bar on gun possession by assault and other violent misdemeanor offenders.

3. Protect our children and communities by banning assault weapons, protecting schools, and preventing unintentional shootings.

  • Reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
  • Require secure storage of firearms for all gun owners. Secure storage has
    been shown to reduce the risk of child gun injuries by up to 85 percent. However, an
    estimated 4.6 million American children live in houses with an unlocked gun.
  • Ban all guns in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—except for law

4.  Tackle daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities. Under Mike's administration, NYC was an early adopter of creative interventions, such as Cure Violence, which engaged the members of the community directly impacted by a violent event.

  • Fund at least $100 million annually for local violence intervention programs.
  • Increase ATF funding by up to $100 million annually so that the Bureau is able to police the gun industry more effectively.
  • Fund at least $100 million annually for public health research into gun violence.
  • Require all gun buyers to wait at least 48 hours before any firearm purchase.
  • Make straw purchasing and trafficking stand-alone federal crimes, with serious penalties for offenders in order to help stop illicit sales.
  • Require all gun owners to report to police if their firearms have been lost or stolen
    within three days after they know or should know that their guns are missing.

5. Hold the gun industry accountable and elevate government's response to the gun violence crisis. As mayor, Mike tackled gun violence by taking on the gun industry and cracking down on illegal gun sales.

  • Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) so that gunmakers and gun dealers will no longer have broad immunity from civil lawsuits.
  • Allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to treat guns like other household products so that the federal government will have the power to set safety requirements for gun technology.
  • Formally declare the gun violence crisis to be a public health emergency to expedite funds and research.
  • Appoint a White House gun coordinator to mobilize the public to fight gun violence and launch an interagency hub to fight gun violence.
  • Focus executive energy on suicide reduction, school safety interventions, and corporate partnerships.

Read the full policy here.


"The level of gun violence in our communities is unacceptable, and as Washington fails to take action, it's cities that have been leading the way to save lives. Mike Bloomberg has been a leader and steadfast ally to local communities who take action to combat gun violence," said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. "Seattle decided to move forward with a common sense, life saving gun storage law. When the gun lobby challenged us in court, Mike stepped up immediately to help defend the city. Democrats will take action in the White House, and Mike's plan puts addressing gun violence front and center in his campaign."

"As mayors, we see the impacts of gun violence on our communities first hand. We need a leader in Washington who is ready to act, and nobody has a stronger record than Mike Bloomberg," said Louisville, Kentucky Mayor and Campaign Co-Chair Greg Fischer. "From Mike's tenure as Mayor to his ability to bring mayors together from across the nation, I am extremely proud to stand with him, particularly as he unveils this plan to stop the gun violence epidemic in America."

"It's time we have someone in the White House who is willing to stand up for our families and our children," said Columbia, South Carolina Mayor and Campaign Co-Chair Steve Benjamin. "Mike Bloomberg has not only proven that he is that leader but he has even defeated the NRA in their own backyard. It should not take any more acts of gun violence in this country to end a system that is set up to serve the gun lobby. With Mike Bloomberg as our President we can once and for all help stop this horrific epidemic."

"Mike Bloomberg's new gun safety policy is exactly what this country needs. As one of the earliest members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition that Mike formed more than a decade ago, I've seen his leadership on this issue firsthand," said Manny Diaz, former mayor of the City of Miami and former President, US Conference of Mayors. "Mike hasn't been afraid to take on the gun lobby, and thanks to him, we're making progress in states around the country and passing laws to keep our communities safer. No one would be a bigger gun safety champion in the White House."

"Mike has been with me on this issue since my run for Governor in 2013. Working with him to successfully flip the House and Senate in Virginia was a major victory for gun sense," said former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. "Mike's gun safety policy is a clear continuation of the great work that Mike has accomplished on gun violence beginning with his time as Mayor. I am happy to see him putting this issue front and center in his campaign."

"My community in Parkland, Florida has experienced firsthand the tragedy of a mass shooting. It's been almost two years and our community is still affected," said Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky. "Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety have given voice to local leaders eager for change. These organizations continue to work on common-sense firearm legislation long after the chatter has quieted and the nation has moved on to the next all too common shooting. This country needs sensible reform and leadership to prevent gun violence."

"Mike Bloomberg's track record proves that his political platform is not for personal power or position but for the potential granted to create a better people," said Marlon Saunders, Senior Pastor, Heritage Christian Center, Denver, Colorado.

"As an educator, I have witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by gun violence in my community. We can prevent these senseless tragedies while also respecting the Second Amendment," said Mary Ann Jacob, who was in the library and survived the Sandy Hook School shooting. "Preventing gun violence and keeping our communities and schools safe is a public safety issue, not a partisan issue. As a gun owner, and a gun violence survivor, I applaud Mike Bloomberg's gun safety policy plan for including measures to require background checks on all gun sales and to require nationwide red-flag laws."

"Gun violence kills and injures hundreds of Americans every day. On January 8, 2011, I was just a mom, waiting in line with my family to meet our Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. That is, until I was shot three times, as I shielded my daughter from the shooter," said Mary Reed of Tucson, AZ. "We cannot afford to wait any longer. We need meaningful action to prevent these senseless tragedies. I am pleased to support Mike Bloomberg's gun safety policy platform."

"As a New Yorker, I'm eternally grateful to Mike for his leadership in gun safety – from the creation of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, to this incredible platform he released today," said Cynthia Rowley, Designer & Activist. "The work he started has changed laws all across the country, but has also changed the culture in which we talk about this issue. The momentum must continue with a leader who can't be manipulated by the gun manufacturers."

"This plan includes the four laws which our research has found are most effective in reducing firearm violence: universal background checks, permit requirements, laws that prohibit firearm possession by people with a history of violence, and extreme risk protection order laws," said Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health. "These laws work together to carry out the principle that people who are at the greatest risk for violence should not have access to firearms. Taken together, this set of laws could, according to our research, reduce overall population rates of firearm homicide by as much as 35%."

"My family was devastated when my brother, Louie, died by suicide with a gun. Firearm suicide is gun violence and red flag laws like the one we passed in Nevada can help prevent these senseless tragedies," said Linda Cavazos of Las Vegas, NV. "I'm glad to see Mike Bloomberg releasing a plan that will save lives by enacting Red Flag laws nationwide."

"As an educator, I have witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by gun violence in my community. We can prevent these senseless tragedies while also respecting the Second Amendment," said Mary Ann Jacob, who was in the library and survived the Sandy Hook School shooting. "Preventing gun violence and keeping our communities and schools safe is a public safety issue, not a partisan issue. As a gun owner, and a gun violence survivor, I applaud Mike Bloomberg's gun safety policy plan for including measures to require background checks on all gun sales and to require nationwide red-flag laws."

"My firstborn son, Shawn, was shot and killed at the age of 34. Unfortunately, I am among the many Black mothers in this country who have had to bury their children. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by gun violence," said Brenda Moss of Lynchburg, Virginia. "I support Mike Bloomberg's gun safety plan because it will help prevent gun violence that has become all too normal in my community and across the country."

Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Campaign Press Release - Mike Bloomberg Releases New Gun Safety Policy Agenda, Building On Proven Track Record Tackling Gun Violence Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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