As President Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), along with over 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, sent a letter to the Administration supporting the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms' (ATF's) proposed rule to crackdown on illegal gun trafficking.
"I am calling on President Obama to act swiftly to support our law enforcement agencies as they fight to protect our citizens and help the Mexican Government combat the drug cartels," said Rep. Judy Chu. "Every day people are dying from this war, even American citizens. It is clear that the cost of inaction is too great. We must answer the call of President Calderon to stop the flow of guns that are illegally crossing our southern border."
This historic meeting between the two Presidents came at a critical moment for the two countries, as they push forward with their plan to fight the Mexican drug cartels together. In December, ATF requested new powers to require gun dealers in states along the Mexican border to report the sales of two or more assault weapons to the same buyer within five workdays. ATF's proposal would help stop the illegal trafficking of military-style guns popular in Mexico, and would in no way infringe on an individual's right to bear arms.
"Last year, the U.S. military announced that if the drug war continues unabated it will cause the Mexican government to collapse and the cartel war would spread over the border into the U.S.," said Chu. "The level of violence in Mexico is unacceptable, and has increased exponentially. Time is of the essence."
Other groups, including the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, have called on the Administration to take immediate action. "These guns are fueling violence that has claimed more than 30,000 lives and putting our law enforcement officers at risk. ATF recognizes the emergency but we need the White House to give the agency the support it needs do its job effectively," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "The White House decided that the illegal trafficking of thousands of semiautomatic assault rifles from the U.S. to Mexico is not an emergency. Our coalition of over 550 mayors strongly disagrees."
Rep Chu, along with Rep. Raul Grivalja (AZ-07) and Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05), spearheaded this letter to the President, calling for action to approve ATF's proposed rule.
Representative Judy Chu was elected in July 2009 to the U.S. House of Representatives as the Representative of California's 32nd District, which includes East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. She is a member of the House Judiciary and Small Business Committees, as well as the new chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Congresswoman Chu's career in politics spans 24 years. A lifelong educator, Congresswoman Chu taught community college classes in Los Angeles and East Los Angeles for 20 years. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and a B.A. in mathematics.