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El Paso, Dayton mayors join to demand Senate call special session on gun control

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El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have both been rocked by mass shootings this week.

Mayors of the two cities that endured mass shootings last weekend were joined by more than 200 of their counterparts on Thursday in demanding the US Senate return from its recess to pass gun safety legislation already approved by the House of Representatives.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, the 214 mayors urged the Senate to urgently address the issue in response to back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left 31 people dead.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo speaks with the media at a memorial four days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo speaks with the media at a memorial four days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas.
Reuters

“The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them,” the letter signed by members of the United States Conference of Mayors, said.

The offices of Mr McConnell, a Republican, and Mr Schumer, a Democrat, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of the mass shooting in Dayton.
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of the mass shooting in Dayton.
AP

The mayors, including El Paso’s Dee Margo, a Republican, and Dayton’s Nan Whaley, a Democrat, urged early voting on two bills expanding background checks for firearms sales, pointing out that the United States had 250 mass shootings so far in 2019.

Earlier this year, the White House issued veto threats on both bills.  

Police swarm the area around the Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, where the shooting occurred.
Police swarm the area around the Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, where the shooting occurred.
AFP

Among those signing the letter were the mayors of Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed at a nightclub in June 2016; Parkland, Florida, where 17 were massacred in a school in February 2018; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where 11 people were slain in a synagogue in October 2018; and Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were killed at a newspaper office in June 2018.

Two Democratic presidential candidates signed the letter: Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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