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San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo Takes Plea For Tougher Gun Control Laws To The White House

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- With his city still reeling from a mass shooting that claimed the lives of nine transit workers, Mayor Sam Liccardo was taking his plea for tougher gun control laws Monday to the White House for a meeting with President Joe Biden.

Liccardo will be joined in the meeting by Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and the likely next mayor of New York, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis, Chief David Brown of Chicago and Lt. Anthony Lima of the Newark, New Jersey, police.

It's been nearly two months since VTA employee Samuel Cassidy opened fire on his coworkers at the agency's Guadalupe Yard transit center. He killed nine coworkers before taking his own life.

VTA light rail transit trains still have not returned to normal operations as the agency has been ravaged by the lingering emotional impact of the shooting.

Two weeks after the shootings, Liccardo announced several proposed new San Jose gun ordinances including a requirement that gun owners purchase liability insurance for their weapons and that retailers video record their firearms sales.

The City Council unanimously approved the plan which will come up for a final vote in the fall before the ordinances can be enacted.

On Monday, Liccardo to the KPIX 5 Morning News that he was going to push for stronger national gun laws during the President's meeting with city officials from across the country.

"We'll be talking a lot about how the federal government can be a partner for cities," he said. "We are seeing rising gun violence in cities throughout the county... So we'll be talking about how we are using federal dollars for example to expand beat patrols in high crime neighborhoods to getting young adults in gang impacted neighborhoods jobs and supporting the resilience of the city."

"We (will be) talking more about (the) innovative approaches cities are doing to reduce gun violence such as the recent ordinance that we passed to crack down on gun dealers engaged in straw purchasing."

A "straw" purchase of a firearm occurs when one person buys a weapon -- generally in a state with less restrictive purchasing laws -- with the intent of giving the gun to another person.

In June, Biden unveiled a series of executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence. Liccardo believes even tougher standards are needed, particularly when it comes to gun trafficking and straw purchases.

"We know that guns are moving around a lot -- about 30,000 guns for example are purchased for criminal organizations like gangs through straw purchasing," Liccardo said. "So we've passed protections here in San Jose, but we need other parts of the country to do the same thing because we know that guns are typically purchased in states without restrictive gun laws and moved into California."

"Being able to have federal tracking and monitoring would help enormously. So we can crack down on those organizations that are moving guns in and out of cities."

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