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      Myrtle Beach mayor joins coalition against illegal firearms

      Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes recently became a member of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" coalition to stop the flow of illegal guns into America's cities.

      "This is strictly about attacking a problem that we have in our nation today, and that is criminals, thugs, obtaining illegal weapons and creating crimes," Mayor Rhodes said.

      Mayor Rhodes said the group's goals are simple- yet powerful.

      "Number one, they want to do away with the people that are selling guns illegally. They want to do away with those criminals that are getting these guns. They want proper identification when you are able to purchase a weapon. It's to get the criminals off the streets and try to put a cap on murders, Mayor Rhodes said.

      Mayor Rhodes is just one of four South Carolina mayors who've signed on, and after doing so, Rhodes said he was was criticized by some people on social media sites for his decision.

      He added the group's message was taken the wrong way by many.

      "We're not talking about denying you the right to have firearms. We're not denying you the right to have rifles. We're saying that the Second Amendment is constitutional, and we want that to continue to stay in place, but we want to take illegal weapons out of the hands of criminals," Rhodes stated.

      He said he's joined simply because he feels it's the right thing to do in order to protect not just Myrtle Beach, but the entire nation.

      "I've got guns. My friends have got guns. Whether it's target shooting or hunters, that's not a problem. The problem is those that are getting these weapons the wrong way and using them the wrong way."

      As for gun manufacturers moving into Horry County, such as PTR Industries, Rhodes welcomes them, and said he has no problem with legal use of weapons.

      "This is creating industry for our county where jobs are needed. This is people that are coming down that are running a legitimate business and selling their weapons to legitimate people," Rhodes said.

      There are nearly 1,000 mayors in the coalition now, and Rhodes said the next step for the group is to push Congress to take action on stricter regulations for purchasing firearms.