Background Checks Save Lives and Help Police Catch Criminals; Polls Show Overwhelming National Support for Background Checks; www.DemandAction.orgNEW YORK, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following Senator Harry Reid's introduction of a gun reform bill including enforceable background checks, the co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino issued the following statements: "Since the tragedy in Newtown, millions of Americans have demanded that Washington take action to prevent gun violence — and now commonsense legislation is one step closer to passage," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "I applaud Senator Reid for sending a bill to the Senate floor that includes comprehensive, enforceable background checks— and for emphasizing that to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks. This sensible reform — with overwhelming support from Americans, including gun owners — will save lives and keep our communities safer. Senator Reid also ensured that limits on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will be brought to his chamber – these reasonable ideas deserve votes." "Senator Reid knows that requiring background checks for all gun sales will keep firearms out of the wrong hands and save countless lives," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "His actions are an important step forward in the fight to reduce gun violence, and I thank the Senator for his continued leadership on this critical issue." Around 40 percent of U.S. gun transfers are conducted by unlicensed "private sellers" who are not required to conduct a federal check, and who often do business at gun shows and on the Internet – indicating that about 6.6 million guns are transferred in the U.S. every year with no background check for the buyer. This loophole allows dangerous people who are prohibited from buying guns – including felons, domestic abusers and the seriously mentally ill – to avoid a background check by simply avoiding licensed dealers.