The Republican mayor of Clearwater, Florida called on city council members to throw their support behind a resolution that asks Congress to ban “military-style” assault weapons, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
“I’ve gone to church, I’ve prayed,” The Times reports Mayor George Cretekos as saying . “My prayers aren’t working.”
In addition to the ban, the resolution Cretekos is pushing also enacts a national “red-flag law” and a strengthening of background checks.
“For a long time I’ve been struggling with gun violence in the United States, whether it’s Pulse, whether it’s Columbine, whether it was El Paso, Odessa, Parkland, and I just felt like we needed to do something,” Cretekos told WTSP Tuesday.
“We need to come together as a country,” he continued. “Everybody respects the Second Amendment, but we also are founded on the principle of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and I don’t want to have to go to a family and say, ‘My thoughts and prayers are with you.’ I want to be able to say, ‘we’re trying to do something to help.'”
The resolution, if passed, would be largely symbolic.
Local governments cannot pass laws that supersede rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution (i.e. the Second Amendment). What they can do is pass resolutions that simply urge legislators to pass such laws.
Cretekos went on to say that he wants to give “public safety as much attention that we are the individual right to have a weapon.”
“We’re not wanting to take anyone’s weapon away. We’re just trying to say, ‘Do you really need a military-style assault weapon?’”
The mayor admitted that he’s getting pushback from his colleagues who disagree with his call for an all-out ban.
“We may have to revise because I would like to have something pass so that Clearwater can go on record as saying this is important to us, it’s important to our residents.”
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube