New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a nationwide coalition co-founded by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, and the move prompted praise from gun control advocates.
The new mayor is no stranger to gun-violence initiatives, something New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett cited as one of the reasons she sees de Blasio’s joining as a positive.
“He, as public advocate, led the national campaign to pressure hedge funds and money managers to divest from the gun industry, which is very significant,” Barrett said. “And he’s been a very strong supporter of strong New York state gun violence prevention laws like the New York SAFE Act.”
Even with plenty on his plate as mayor, Barrett said she expects de Blasio to make gun violence prevention a key initiative. As a candidate, de Blasio told the Huffington Post in October that he thought Bloomberg had been right on gun control and other issues but there was an “incompleteness to the approach” in some cases.
On Thursday, he said in a statement, “We are going to force this issue on the national stage to protect New Yorkers from the illegal guns flooding into our city.”