|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
June 3, 2011
STATEMENTS OF MAYORS BLOOMBERG AND MENINO ON AL QAEDA VIDEO TOUTING EASY ACCESS TO FIREARMS IN THE UNITED STATES
Today, Al Qaeda issued a video message featuring Adam Gadahn, an American-born member of the terrorist group, urging followers to commit violent acts of jihad by exploiting weaknesses in U.S. gun laws and the gun background check system.
According to Gadahn, "America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and, most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?"
The complete video is available at http://youtu.be/EpRQzTP8H1o
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, co-chairs of the 550-member Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, issued the following statements in response to the release of the Al Qaeda video.
Statement of Mayor Bloomberg
"The terror statement released today is absolutely accurate in one respect: terrorists and other criminals can easily buy guns in the United States with no background check, and no questions asked. This video may help Washington understand that weak gun laws aren't just a crime problem, they're a national security threat.
"The threat isn't theoretical; it's real. Since 2004, terror suspects have bought guns or explosives more than 1,300 times, according to a recent GAO study. Less than a month ago, the NYPD arrested two terror suspects when they tried to buy guns and grenades.
"Legislation has already been introduced to fix the U.S. background check system - S.436/H.R.1781 the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011. Legislators have also introduced a measure to give the Attorney General discretion to block gun sales to terror suspects - S.34/H.R.1506, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2011.
"Congress should take these common-sense steps to keep guns away from terrorists."
Statement of Mayor Menino
"For years, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has called on Washington to fix our gun background check system to keep guns out of dangerous hands. The coalition has pushed for requiring background checks on all gun sales, including private sales at gun shows. Today Al Qaeda identified this 'gun show loophole' as a weakness they can exploit.
"The President called for a more 'instant, accurate and comprehensive background check system' after Tucson. We hope the blatant threat made in this video to use the gun show loophole to harm innocent Americans will prompt immediate action.
"But even if all gun sales were subject to a background check, terrorists would still pass those checks because our Justice Department has no discretion to stop gun sales to terror suspects. Despite support from both the Bush and Obama Administrations, Congress has consistently failed to close this Terror Gap. Time and again we have called on Congress to act on this national security weakness, and time and again they have stood still.
"It has never been more clear - or more urgent - that Washington must act swiftly on these proposals to protect national security."
|Contact: ||Mayor Bloomberg's Press Office ||(212) 788-2958|
|Mayor Menino's Press Office ||(617) 635-4461|