D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Thursday he will "work hard to preserve our gun-control laws" in the nation's capital, one day after police say a Virginia man shot a security guard who prevented him from entering a conservative research group's offices in a busy section of downtown.
The wounded security guard at the Family Research Council on G Street in Northwest is garnering praise for preventing an even greater tragedy at the hands of the suspect, a Herndon man who purchased a firearm Aug. 9 and brought it "into our city," Mr. Gray said Thursday on News Channel 8.
"He would not have been able to do that in the District of Columbia," Mr. Gray said, noting there is "continuing debate" about gun-control laws and the Second Amendment. "I think we need to recognize that there are people — when guns are available — they will get them and use them for potentially tragic purposes, as this man did yesterday."
A federal charge of interstate transport of ammunition and a D.C. charge of assault with intent to kill have been filed against the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Floyd Lee Corkins II.
The mayor also addressed his displeasure with a large billboard in the District that advertises formal gun training with the phrase, "Hey, D.C., it's time for your first shot."
"We don't need to make guns more available to people," Mr. Gray said. "There are irresponsible people, there are people who have mental health problems, and the easier access they have to guns, the more likely we are to predispose innocent victims, like yesterday, to the use of the guns."
Mr. Gray said crimes involving guns seem to be on the rise, citing the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., theater July 20.
"I'm proud of the gun laws we have here in the District of Columbia," he said.
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