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Mayor, Police Chief Support President's Gun Control Drive

New Orleans’ mayor and police chief have issued statements in support of President Obama’s plan to strengthen gun control. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is urging Congress to go further in broadening the scope of crime reduction.

Mayor Landrieu is calling the president’s plan a “step in the right direction” in reducing gun violence. He says making New Orleans safe is the most important issue the city faces, and is calling on Congress to restore funding for local law enforcement as well as mental health services.

Landrieu says federal funds for law enforcement have been cut in half in New Orleans since the 1990s.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, who is also an officer in the International Association of Chiefs of Police, says he doesn’t know of any police chief in America who would object to the proposals. The president is calling for a ban on assault weapons and restrictions on ammunition they need.

Serpas says the ammunition restrictions would also ban bullets that can pierce body armor worn by officers. Landrieu will be discussing gun control and other issues at the meeting in Washington, D.C., this week of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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