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Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers and representatives of police unions from San Jose, Oakland, Santa Clara, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Portland announced a broad agenda to address police-community acrimony across the country that are at the heart of the ongoing on-field protests where NFL players protest against law enforcement use of force by kneeling and making other demonstrations during the playing of the National Anthem.

That agenda includes a commitment from the 49ers to bankroll the production of a series of public-service announcements to be broadcast nationally to promote better relationships between law enforcement and communities. The team has pledged $500,000 to launch the outreach campaign, and both the 49ers and the police unions plan to lobby for support from other NFL teams and police unions.

But much of the news conference at the team’s Levi’s Stadium home on Thursday focused on proposed federal legislation to ban bump stocks as well as advocating the outlawing of armor-piercing bullets and gun silencers that the unions contend are a significant threat to law enforcement.

Robert Harris, secretary of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, stressed that his colleagues were not trying to obstruct gun rights.

“We are unwavering in our support of the Second Amendment. We also believe that common sense laws should be put into place to protect law-enforcement officers and the citizens they serve,” Harris told the San Jose Mercury News. “If as a country we hope to make any progress, it will take all of us to leave our comfort zones.”

 

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