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“We can and must do more to stem the tide of illegal guns that end up on our streets and in the hands of criminals.” – Mayor Bill Finch

Bridgeport, Conn. (June 29, 2015) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal joined Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr., and community leaders at The Burroughs Community Center in Bridgeport to discuss ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal guns and gun violence.

In 2015, shootings are up in cities across the country including New York, Chicago, and Baltimore, according to NPR.

"We must make sure that this country does more than grieve and remember the innocent lives lost from gun violence,” said Senator Blumenthal. “We must redouble our commitment as a nation to make our nation safer and better – not just for the nine innocent people in a church in Charleston, or 26 innocent people in a schoolhouse in Sandy Hook, but for the 11,000 people lost to gun violence every year on the streets of Bridgeport and cities across Connecticut and the nation, and in our rural and suburban communities throughout our country."

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention, one person is killed in the U.S. by a firearm every 17 minutes, 87 people are killed during an average day, and 609 are killed every week.

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Also, between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns – more than the population of St. Louis, Mo. (318,069), Pittsburgh (307,484), Cincinnati, Ohio (296,223), Newark, N.J. (277,540), and Orlando, Fla. (243,195).

“We can and must do more to stem the tide of illegal guns that end up on our streets and in the hands of criminals,” said Mayor Finch.

Mayor Finch has been a longtime leader at the state and local level for cracking down on illegal gun use. As a state senator, he successfully pushed for tougher gun laws.

As mayor, his gun buyback program has helped take more than 1,000 guns off the streets. And, in 2012, he was one of the most vocal advocates for Connecticut passing and signing into law the strictest gun control law in the country. He’s also an active member of the national organization Everytown for Gun Safety, formerly called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is a collection of mayors from the country who support common-sense gun laws and policies that keep guns out of the wrong hands.

“We need to address that issue of illegal guns in communities across the state and country,” said Police Chief Gaudett. “Crime in Bridgeport continues to go down. But illegal gun use remains a problem. We continue working with the community and leaders at all levels of government to find ways to strengthen our gun laws and get illegal guns off our streets.”