Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rep. Pete King, one of the few pro-gun control Republicans in the House of Representatives, today introduced new legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official.
Bloomberg, a staunch gun control advocate, and Rep. King appeared together at a press conference in New York City just days after a gunman killed six people and wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a political event in Tuscon. More than a dozen people were hurt in the spray of bullets during the daytime event.
“It is imperative that we do all that we can to give law enforcement the tools they need to ensure the safety of New Yorkers and prevent an attack before it happens,” said King, a long-time representative from New York and the current chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
King said the new law would make it illegal to "knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of the President, Vice President, Members of Congress or judges of the Federal Judiciary. In the United States, it is illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a school."
"Passing a similar law for government officials would give federal, state, and local law enforcement a better chance to intercept would-be shooters before they pull the trigger," King's statement said.
Bloomberg, who heads a gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said on a daily basis people who shouldn't be allowed to buy or carry a weapon are able to obtain a gun.
“Just as we saw after Virginia Tech, the Arizona tragedy has once again exposed fatal cracks in our background check system," he said.
The shooting suspect in Tuscon, Jared Loughner, has been described by those who know him as disturbed and he also had a history of drug use.
“The law says that drug abusers can't buy guns, but even though Jared Loughner was rejected by the military for drug use and arrested on drug charges, he was able to pass a background check and buy a gun," Bloomberg said.
Rep. King is the first Republican to announce any new or revamped gun control legislation following the Giffords shooting.