Local officials don't like illegal guns.
But when 14 mayors in the region and one township trustee signed on Thursday morning to the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, they joined a national lobbying group that's butting heads with the powerful National Rifle Association.
Started last year by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, the coalition would like to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment.
Attached to the U.S. Department of Justice's appropriations bill since 2003, the amendment restricts the abilities of law enforcement to use information gathered from the tracing of guns.
The group also plans to develop what it thinks are effective anti-gun strategies and spread them to cities across the country.
Bloomberg came to Cincinnati to help Mayor Mark Mallory announce the regional support here.
He said police need as much information as possible to get illegal guns off the streets.
"This is not a big-city thing or a partisan thing," he said. "The only people who should be upset about this are criminals. The point is, we need to make our views known."
The NRA, on its Web site, refers to the "egomaniacal nature" of Bloomberg's "crusade" to foist bad, failed gun policies on cities other than his own. A newer group, the American Hunters and Shooters Association, supports the mayors.
Mayors of these local cities and villages signed on with Mallory: Cleves, Covington, Fairfax, Forest Park, Golf Manor, Harrison, Lincoln Heights, Silverton, Wyoming, Arlington Heights, Glendale, Lockland and Newport. Also signing was the Delhi Township trustees president.
Mallory said it was the first time a regional group of mayors joined the coalition as a bloc.
"It doesn't do us much good," he said, "if we get a handle on our homicides in Cincinnati and in Sharonville, we see 60."
Mallory said he would push local lawmakers to vote against the Tiarht Amendment.
He said some local mayors wanted more information and others declined to sign. Some officials have been concerned about NRA backlash, Bloomberg said.
Covington Mayor Butch Callery said the problem of guns requires a regional approach.
"Unfortunately, criminals don't know any boundaries and guns don't either," he said. "This is taking a regional approach to the problem. We need to do more of that in our area."
Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli said he wanted to make clear the coalition "is against illegal guns. It is not against people having guns."
"I think it is real clear anybody in government in the region would be against illegal guns," he said. "I think everybody is."