THE BRONX - Mayor Michael Bloomberg is imploring Washington to get tough on gun laws immediately in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting that left 20 children and six teachers dead.

The mayor has been an outspoken advocate for stricter gun laws throughout his political career. He says Congress is long overdue in taking on the issue of gun violence.

"It is time to pass an enforceable and effective assault weapons ban, one that isn't riddled with loopholes and easy evasion," said Bloomberg. "A previous ban expired in 2004 and even though President Bush supported reinstating it, Congress never acted. That must change."

The mayor also wants Congress to pass the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would close a loophole that allows nearly 40 percent of gun purchases to go through without a background check.

The National Rifle Association and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

To watch Mayor Bloomberg's news conference on gun violence, click on News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.