California mayor orders flags to be kept at half-staff until Congress acts on gun legislation

California mayor orders flags to be kept at half-staff until Congress acts on gun legislation
© Greg Nash

A mayor in Northern California is ordering all flags on city property to be flown at half-staff until Congress takes action on reforming the nation’s gun laws.

San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips announced the move during a City Council meeting on Monday, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

“I’ve had it simply lowering the flag,” Phillips said. “For me, it’s simple: I am completely fed up with Congress not taking action.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He did not comment on what policies he would like U.S. lawmakers to address. 

“I am not prescribing that action, as that is their job, but I am saying that to do nothing is not acceptable to San Rafael,” Phillips said.

The order came after a weekend where mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left at least 31 people dead and dozens injured. A shooting in Gilroy, Calif., roughly 100 miles from San Rafael, left three people dead and several wounded late last month.

Phillips told the outlet that he intended to revisit the decision with council members on Sept. 16 if Congress had yet to take any steps on gun legislation. 

More than 200 Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.) calling for a vote on House-passed legislation aimed at strengthening background checks for firearm purchases. 

Hundreds of U.S. mayors made a similar move Thursday. 

“The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them,” the 214 mayors said in a letter to the GOP and Democratic Senate leaders. 

McConnell has indicated that debate over the legislation would be "front and center" in the upper chamber later this year. But he also has signaled that he would not call the Senate back early from recess to address the issue.