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01 <br /> 4 � <br /> F x <br /> G� d <br /> W <br /> PEACE a <br /> x x <br /> 1865 <br /> MEDIA RELEASE <br /> Wednesday,January 31,2007 <br /> 3:45 PM <br /> Contact: Mikki Dobski, Director of Communications & Special Projects, 235-5855 or 876-1564 <br /> Phil Trent, SBPD Community Relations Division, 235-5564 <br /> Mayor Returns from National Summit Against Illegal <br /> Guns <br /> Mayor Luecke returned to South Bend, late last week, after a two-day trip to Washington, D.C. <br /> where he was attending the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Summit. The summit, hosted by New <br /> York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, brought together mayors <br /> from all over the country to discuss the growing problem of illegal guns. <br /> "The flow of illegal guns into communities all across America is a travesty," said Mayor Luecke. <br /> "Easy access to these guns has made our neighborhoods less safe and made law enforcement <br /> more difficult. I have joined this coalition to learn from other mayors,to share strategies that we <br /> are using here in South Bend and St. Joseph County, and to put bi-partisan pressure on Congress <br /> to reject laws that would tie the hands of police officers and prosecutors." <br /> The Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) coalition began with last year's summit, where 15 <br /> mayors met to discuss strategies for stemming the flow of illegal guns into American cities. This <br /> year's summit was significantly larger, drawing 53 mayors. And momentum for the cause <br /> continues to build. Just days after Mayor Luecke's return from Washington, summit organizers <br /> announced that 31 new mayors, from states all across the country,had stepped up and become a <br /> part of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Over 154 mayors from more than 40 states have now <br /> joined the bi-partisan coalition. <br /> "The issue of illegal guns is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is not liberal or <br /> conservative, it is an issue of law and order—life and death," said the Mayor while commenting <br /> on the MAIG Statement of Principals, which he has signed. "We want to keep guns out of the <br /> hands of criminals and terrorists. We want maximum punishment for those who possess, use and <br /> traffic in illegal guns. We want to stop straw purchases of guns and be able to share trace data <br /> which is so essential to effective enforcement. We want the ATE to be able to do its job <br />