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Hampshire officials sign on to anti-gun violence statement

Updated: January 24, 2013 6:33AM

HAMPSHIRE — Village President Jeffrey Magnussen and Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner have signed a letter calling for an end to gun violence across America.

“The initiative is to outlaw assault weapons and illegal weapons,” said Magnussen. “Our signed letter is being sent to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn. Twenty-two other mayors have signed on. I’m throwing my support behind it.”

The coalition promoting this effort is known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Local members of the coalition include Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain and Pingree Grove Village President Greg Marston.

The letter follows the Dec. 14 killings by a lone gunman of 20 children and six educators at a grade school in Newtown, Conn.

In the statement of principles that Magnussen and Maxeiner signed, it states: “30,000 Americans across the country are killed every year as a result of gun violence, destroying families and communities in big cities and small towns. As mayors, we are duty bound to do everything in our power to protect our residents, especially our children, from harm. There is no greater threat to public safety than the threat of illegal guns.”

The statement goes on to say that people should work together to find innovative ways to advance the following principles:

“Punish, to the maximum extent of the law, criminals who possess, use, and traffic in illegal guns.

“Target and hold accountable irresponsible gun dealers who break the law by knowingly selling guns to straw purchasers.

“Oppose all federal efforts to restrict cities’ rights to access, use and share trace data that is so essential to effective enforcement, or to interfere with the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to combat illegal gun trafficking.

“Work to develop and use technologies that aid in the detection and tracing of illegal guns.

“Support all local, state and federal legislation that targets illegal guns; coordinate legislative, enforcement, and litigation strategies; and share information and best practices.

“Invite other cities to join us in this new national effort.”

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