White Plains Mayor Seeks Sponsors For Federal Gun Legislation

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White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach will join 60 members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Wednesday in Washington seeking sponsors in the U.S. Congress for a gun control bill. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach will travel to Washington D.C. Wednesday with 60 other mayors to ask representatives in the U.S. Congress to sponsor similar legislation to the gun control bill passed by the New York State Assembly on Tuesday.

The Fix Gun Checks Act (H.R. 137) was re-introduced in the U.S. Congress and, if passed, would require background checks for all gun sales and improved reporting of mental health records into the nation’s gun background check database.

Dr. Grant Mitchell, commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, recently testified there may be gaps in mental health reporting to gun licensing agents. He told the Board of Legislators he is looking into it.

“It is past time for action,” Roach said in a statement. “Every day, 33 Americans are killed with guns. I applaud Governor Cuomo and our representatives in the State Senate and Assembly for moving forward with new common sense gun regulations here in New York.  We now need action at the federal level. I plan to use this opportunity to do all I can to advocate for common sense proposals for reducing gun crime.”

The gun control bill passed in the state Assembly Tuesday expands New York's assault weapons law to include semiautomatic pistols, rifles and shotguns with detachable magazines and one of several military-style features. New Yorkers would be allowed to keep an assault weapon but would need to register it with the state.

According to the text of the law, mental health practitioners would be required to report to local mental health officials when they believe a patient is likely to harm themselves or others. Law enforcement officers would then be authorized to confiscate that person's firearms. According to The New York Times, therapists would not be sanctioned for a failure to report such patients if they acted “in good faith.”

Mayors Against Illegal Gun sent a letter to the White House and all members of the U.S. Congress Dec. 20 with three concrete proposals to prevent gun violence in the United States.

For more information visit the Mayors Against Illegal Guns website

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