Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said he and 60 other U.S. mayors are about to start digging into the companies that sell guns and ammunition to police departments in their cities.
Rybak said he wants to find out if those manufacturers are standing in the way of “common sense” gun control.
“If we find out they’re not partners, and if we find out they’re working against us, then we ought to all have a conversation as taxpayers whether our dollar should be used for people who are not helping to reduce gun violence,” Rybak said.
They city has spent $593,000 on ammunition since 2008 and another $193,000 on Remington shotguns for Minneapolis police officers, Rybak said. Cops are also given a stipend to buy Smith & Wesson handguns – the city requires them to purchase a certain model.
City ammunition is purchased at Streicher’s in Plymouth and Federal Premium Ammunition in Anoka, Rybak said.
Rybak said the idea emerged from a recent gun summit he held with Midwest leaders. He didn’t outline exactly how he and his staff will find out if gun and ammo manufacturers are not “helping to reduce gun violence.”
“We won’t have access to all contributors of the NRA,” Rybak said, later noting that there are members in the National Rifle Association that do support gun reform.
Rybak announced his intentions to the city’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Health Committee today. Council members were mostly supportive.
“I think this is a pretty clever and smart idea,” said Council Member Cam Gordon (Ward 2).
Betsy Hodges (Ward 13) said it may be difficult to find out which companies support the NRA, but the city will do its best to find out.
“If there’s anything in the city worth fast tracking, it’s this,” Hodges said.
Council President Barb Johnson called the idea “symbolic,” but hoped leaders could find other ways to cut gun violence, such as prosecuting people who lie on their gun applications.
“We are a pittance in the amount of money we spent on guns and ammunition in this state, Johnson said.