Wharton leaves officer's funeral to talk gun control with VP - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton leaves officer's funeral to talk gun control with VP

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The first meeting of Vice President Joe Biden's working group on gun control included a conference call with a dozen mayors. The first meeting of Vice President Joe Biden's working group on gun control included a conference call with a dozen mayors.
Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton joined the call from Hope Church. Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton joined the call from Hope Church.
Mayor Wharton says he felt badly that he had to leave to take the call, and hoped the public understands the circumstances. Mayor Wharton says he felt badly that he had to leave to take the call, and hoped the public understands the circumstances.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – The first meeting of Vice President Joe Biden's working group on gun control included a conference call with a dozen mayors.

"There are some things we can immediately do," said Biden.  "And we're going to need your help," he added.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton joined the call from the pastor's study at Hope Church.

That's where he had to leave fallen police officer Martoiya Lang's funeral before it ended.

"I felt so badly and I hope the public understands I wasn't being rude," said Wharton.

He said the kind of legislation he's helping to craft may one day keep the kind of gun allegedly used to kill Lang off the streets.

"That gun was stolen," said Wharton.  "With a magazine that had 16 bullets," he added.  "We have officers with 9 or 10 bullet clips, and that's all."

Certain assault weapons, ineffective background checks, gun show loopholes, and extended magazines are all shared concerns among the mayors with whom Wharton spoke.

"Definitively, across the board, everybody said we're got to do something about super clips that people load up like they're in Afghanistan or somewhere," said Wharton.

The tragedy in Connecticut and officer Lang's death here at home are two examples of why Wharton and others believe now is the time to act.

"If we want to say anything to officer Lang's children, I hope we'll be able to say because your mother died every child around the nation now has more protection," said Wharton.  "Because your mother died," he added.

Obviously, there are critics to a renewed focus on gun control.  Regardless, Wharton and the other mayors will send their recommendations to the White House in the coming weeks.

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