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Chula Vista Mayor Signs Letter Urging Senate To Act On Gun Reform

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Mayor Mary Salas is so far the only San Diego County mayor to sign on to a letter from more than 200 U.S. mayors urging the Senate to return to Washington to vote on gun safety legislation.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 In the light of recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, more than 200 members of the United Conference of mayors have written a letter to u s Senate leaders urging action on gun safety legislation. Many of the mayors who've signed onto the request are from California, including the mayors of Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. However, the only city leader in San Diego County to sign the petition is to La Vista. Mayor Mary Salus, who joins me now. And Mayor Salus welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: 00:29 Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: 00:31 This letter is addressed to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer. What kind of action are you in the other mayors hoping for?

Speaker 2: 00:41 Well, we want to make sure that they understand that the American public is demanding that legislation that is already passed the house be taken to the Senate and action taken on it. And um, so we really believe firmly that it's the will of the people that we tighten up our, our gun control laws while protecting the second amendment rights, but that we have comprehensive and common sense gun control laws. We've seen too much slaughter in the United States.

Speaker 1: 01:12 What legislation do you want them to take up

Speaker 2: 01:15 in particularly we want h, r, h, h, h, r eight, which is the bipartisan background checked active 2019, as well as HR 1112. That uh, enhanced background checks act of 2019.

Speaker 1: 01:30 Those two pieces of legislation have already passed in the house and I'm wondering what kind of background checks do these bills require?

Speaker 2: 01:40 Well, we want to make sure that the background checks are really thorough and that they're not just cosmetic type of, of uh, action or that they're, they're, uh, just pandering to, uh, the minimum. I think that's really important that we have thorough background checks that undergo an ics background check.

Speaker 1: 02:00 Do you think either of these bills actually goes far enough?

Speaker 2: 02:04 No, actually in the city of Chula Vista, what I'm going to be asking my council to do is actually pass a resolution that goes further in particularly, we want to make sure that there's, uh, the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and also that the passing a national extreme risk law and often referred to as a red flag law. And I think that that's extremely important as well.

Speaker 1: 02:31 You know, California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. What do you think this house legislation, if it were passed by the Senate, what could it do for us here in California?

Speaker 2: 02:42 Well, I think that here in California reacting to the will of the people. The legislature is enacted, um, further measures and uh, you know, I can point to one example is the requirement of background checks. Now when people buy ammunition and the report that many felons have been, um, actually apprehended because of these background checks that shouldn't be allowed to have ammunition nor guns. So I'm really proud of the state of California for their progressive and proactive action. And I'm also proud of the city of Chula Vista that also supports that.

Speaker 1: 03:18 Do you think stricter national gun safety laws would make us safer here in California?

Speaker 2: 03:25 It's not about making a safer here in California, it's about implementing the national policies and laws that are uniform throughout the country that will make it a lot more difficult for these masters shootings to occur. Mass shootings. And by the way, suicides as well.

Speaker 1: 03:42 Now you're the only San Diego County mayor to sign onto this letter. Why did you decide to,

Speaker 2: 03:48 well, first of all, I am a member of the conference of mayors and second of all is that I, I just am really sick and by the continuing slaughter of innocent people in the United States of America. And I think that we have the ability to pass laws that will promote more safety within our community and also the safety of our law enforcement people as well. You know, sometimes the weapons that are being directed at our law enforcement personnel is a lot more, um, a lot more deadly than the, the firearms that they have.

Speaker 1: 04:24 You talked about the kinds of legislation that you want to see Chulavista pass when it comes to gun regulation?

Speaker 2: 04:30 Actually Chil Avista can't pass gun regulations. However, we do want to make sure that we, uh, put in our voice in support of, um, stronger gun gun control laws in the United States.

Speaker 1: 04:43 Well, uh, the San Diego City Council recently voted to require gun owners to store guns in lockboxes sort of regulations like that. Is that something you would support for two of the Vista?

Speaker 2: 04:54 I would definitely.

Speaker 1: 04:56 And what other kinds of measures like that that the city might be able to enact, would you be in favor of?

Speaker 2: 05:02 Well, I'm not sure. You know, I'd have to talk to the chief of police to make sure that whatever we're going to propose is, it makes sense and is enforceable. Yeah.

Speaker 1: 05:10 Given the gridlock in Washington, do you think this letter that you signed from the United Conference of mayors could make a difference?

Speaker 2: 05:18 I think so. And the reason that I think so is that we're hearing from the public that the public is demanding this. And I think that, you know, that the, um, the Senate and the Congress, they can only remain tone deaf for so long. I think that, you know, this last round of mass shootings and where you saw the public just, um, spontaneously shouting, do something, do something. And that's exactly what we're hearing from, you know, our community here in Chula Vista. Do something, take a stand. We can't let this go on any further.

Speaker 1: 05:53 I've been speaking with Chula Vista, Mayor Mary Salus, Mayor Salus. Thank you very much.

Speaker 2: 05:58 Okay, thank you. And my thoughts and prayers go out to all the people that have been affected by this. And my heart also goes out to the mayor of El Paso, but for all community members that have been affected by this

Speaker 3: 06:13 [inaudible].

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.