WASHINGTON – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a national campaign against gun laws that he said "justify civilian gun play."
Bloomberg was joined by the leaders from the NAACP, National Urban League and other groups Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as he announced "Second Chance on Shoot First."
The campaign aims to repeal or reform the laws that eliminated a person's duty to retreat when threatened with serious bodily harm or death. These laws have passed in 25 states.
Bloomberg said these laws undermined integrity of the justice system, threaten public safety and make it more difficult to prosecute shooters.
The grassroots campaign will contact state legislators who have passed what he terms "shoot first" laws, produce education material for the public and create model legislation.
"The tragic death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. touched a nerve all across this country," Bloomberg said. "I believe we all have a responsibility to investigate the meaning of this terrible event for our nation and then to take action."
Bloomberg said neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who shot Martin, should have never had a gun with his history violence. He said New York and other states would not have allowed him to carry a gun.
With the recent announcement that Zimmerman will be charged in the shooting, Bloomberg simply said, "Let justice be served."
"I'm told the prosecutor is a woman with a lot of experience and I'm sure she'll look at this and decide what actions are appropriate, but I'll leave it to her," he said.
Bloomberg said his campaign is not undermined by the recent charges brought against Zimmerman.
"I'm trying to protect people across this country," he said. "I go to states with Stand Your Ground laws. My daughters go to states with Stand Your Ground laws. This is a part of America and I think these kinds of laws that lead to vigilantism are just not appropriate."
Gun law reform website: http://www.secondchanceonshootfirst.org/