NLC President Enlists McCollum in Safety Push

By Otero, Juan | Nation's Cities Weekly, September 13, 1999 | Go to article overview

NLC President Enlists McCollum in Safety Push


Otero, Juan, Nation's Cities Weekly


Working to move the National League of Cities' public safety agenda forward, NLC President Clarence Anthony met with Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fl) to discuss the gun-safety provisions in the pending juvenile justice legislation (H.R. 1501).

Mayor Anthony called upon McCullom to brandish his personal leadership, as chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, to move gun safety measures forward and, more importantly, to help House conferees accept the Senate's gun-safety provisions. McCollum is a key conferee on the juvenile justice legislation that includes NLC supported gun-safety measures (S. 254).

According to Congressional leaders, there's a real chance that House members appointed to work out differences in the two chambers' approaches to gun control and juvenile justice issues may try to kill or fatally weaken the Senate's background check measure when they get back to work next week. That's why McCollum's support is so critical for cities.

"The meeting was very productive and I am confident that if we can move beyond the politics we can get these important measures passed. The Congressman was very receptive to our concerns and we will certainly work with him to get meaningful gun-safety laws enacted," said Mayor Anthony. "We were able to get agreement on a slew of issues. The Congressman's support for NLC's agenda was evident," said Mayor Anthony.

Anthony's meeting with McCollum was scheduled in conjunction with a gun safety day organized by the Conference of Mayors (see story, page 1).

This event followed on the heels of Congress' return from the August recess. A Senate-House conference committee is expected to consider gun control reforms very soon.

The Senate enacted important new gun-safety measures, including one to close the gun show loophole through which thousands of criminals and children obtain guns at gun shows without a background check, no questions asked. The House, however, failed to adopt any of the Senate's common sense provisions after a NRA-influenced debate. The NRA has already spent $1.5 million this spring and summer and just announced that it will spend at least $1.5 million more to preserve no-questions-asked gun sales at gun shows.

According to Congressional leaders, there's a real chance that House members appointed to work out differences in the two chambers' approaches to gun control and juvenile justice issues may try to kill or fatally weaken the Senate's background check measure when they get back to work next week.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R-Utah), sponsor of his chamber's juvenile justice bill, was selected to lead the Senate delegation in the upcoming conference with House appointees to iron out differences in their respective youth crime measures. The conference is required to smooth several wrinkles in the respective youth crime bills, including minor differences in a special education amendment and Senate-only language calling for all students suspended for weapons-related offenses to receive immediate intervention services, including mental health services. …

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