L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Friday in the call for a ban on assault weapons as well as the need to appoint a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as part of more than a dozen recommendation to deal with gun violence.
In a letter to Vice President Joe Biden, Villaraigosa cited programs that have worked in Los Angeles to reduce crime, including an increase in the number of police officers, the gun buyback programs and the gang reduction efforts as examples of what can be done.
Federal support for similar programs is needed across the country, Villaraigosa said, as well as a universal background check of gun purchasers and requiring gun owners to report when their weapons are lost or stolen,
Other proposals from the mayor include licensing of all ammunition sellers and requiring them to maintain records of those who purchase ammunition. He also wants to implement enhanced sentences when children are victims of shooting crimes, and re-emphasize the investigation and prosecution of gun crimes.
Villaraigosa also urged the federal government reinstate its research program into gun violence as a way to better understand the crimes.
Biden is chairing a task force for President Barack Obama to look into ways to deal with gun violence as a result of the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
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