Brand signs on to Mayors’ letter for stricter gun background checks

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced Thursday he signed on to a letter from hundreds of U.S. Mayors requesting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) reconvene the Senate earlier to consider two pieces of gun legislation.

Brand made the announcement during a taping of Sunday Morning Matters on Fresno’s NBC affiliate, KSEE-TV.

The letter calls for the Senate to take up two bills passed out of the House of Representatives – H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Check Act of 2019.

H.R. 8 would, among other things, require all firearm purchasers to undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check Service (NICS) background check and restrict unlicensed transfer of firearms via the secondary market.

H.R. 1112 would extend the background check waiting period from three to 10 business days.

McConnell has already rejected the Mayors’ call to shorten the Senate’s August recess.

However, in a local Kentucky radio interview, McConnell said that it is his hope to see actual legislation result from serious discussion on the issue.

“We’re going to have these bipartisan discussions when we get back, hopefully, be able to come together and actually pass something. I want to make a law and not just see this kind of political sparring going on,” the Senate leader said.

“Background checks and red flags would probably lead the discussions.”

Including Brand, 44 California mayors signed on to the U.S. Conference of Mayors letter. Michael Tubbs of Stockton and Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento were the only other Central Valley mayor signatories.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at