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Vruwink: Letter To Senators Is A "call to action" On Gun Bills

U.S. Conference of Mayors

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (WSAU) -- Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zach Vruwink says he joined four other Wisconsin Mayors and over 210 of his peers nationwide in signing a letter encouraging the Senate to take up a special session on gun legislation because there's been no rhyme or reason to this year's rash of mass shootings.

"It's more than a public safety issue, it's a public health issue," Vruwink said on Friday. "The trauma that's associated when a city or community gets affected by this, we all feel. Many of us are asking and hoping and praying that we're not next."

Vruwink says over 250 incidents occurring nationwide this year including the two high-profile events in El Paso and Dayton last weekend have proven that it can happen anywhere.

"There are no political boundaries or physical, geographic boundaries of where these traumatic events are happening." The letter calls on the Senate to reconvene in special session consider two house resolutions that were passed in February.

"H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 are bipartisan, sensible gun safety bills that would make our cities and our people safer, and would in no way compromise gun owners’ rights," the letter reads. Vruwink says as a gun owner himself he fully supports what both bills stand for. "This isn't a matter of prohibiting access to the purchase of a firearm, but to ensure the access is provided through comprehensive background checks and that it closes loopholes. We want to make sure that those that are possessing guns aren't inclined to have [a] mental illness.

"Ninety-three percent of [all] Americans support requiring background checks on all gun sales, and 87% of gun owners in some of those surveys indicate that they also support background checks with the purchase of a firearm," added Vruwink. "For me, this is a call to action to our federal representatives, to provide some clarity and the opportunity for them to debate and discuss these issues without having the normal day-to-day business to deal with," he said.

Others that signed the letter include Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor Michael Vandersteen of Sheboygan, and Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich.

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