SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers are getting involved in gun control. The team is pushing for laws that would ban bump stocks, that's the add-on police say the Las Vegas shooter used to kill 58 people.
The pledge was signed Thursday afternoon by the 49ers and law enforcement unions. The union leaders say 49ers CEO Jed York approached them to have this conversation.
Instead of football players, a bus arrived at Levi's Stadium filled with union representatives from several police departments across the Bay Area and country, including San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles and New York. They say York reached out to them to meet about creating a more understanding and safer America.
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"It's absolute time to have some concrete goals and concrete answers and that's what today's about," said Paul Kelly, San Jose Police Officers Association.
The 49ers and many police officers have been at odds ever since several players, including Colin Kaepernick, starting taking a knee last season during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Union representatives say more action is needed.
"I stand for the national anthem, and those that take a knee, they should come sit at the table just like Jed York is going to do and his team," said Kelly.
"I don't think they should take a knee anymore. I think they should take a seat at the table and start some real meaningful conversation. I want to move towards some proactive engagement versus symbolic gestures," said Robert Harris, Los Angeles Police Protective League.
This pledge covers several issues, including advocating for more mental health services and improving police and community relations. But the recent Las Vegas shooting has also spurred some action on bump stocks, the mechanism that turns semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons.
"There's absolutely no reason that anybody should have a rifle or a gun that they can manipulate and make it a machine gun or fully auto. There's no citizen that needs that and there's no police officer that needs that," said Kelly.
York is also donating $500,000 to the campaign as they try to get more police unions and NFL teams to sign this pledge.
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