Giuliani, Riordan Favor Stricter Gun Controls

REPUBLICAN mayors of the nation's two largest cities say they favor waiting periods for gun purchases and tougher laws to restrict the proliferation of handguns.

That puts New York City Mayor-elect Rudolph Giuliani and Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan at odds with their party's stand on the issue.

But the two Republicans, appearing Sunday on NBC's ``Meet the Press,'' skirted any direct criticisms of their party for holding up passage of the Brady bill. But both said they would campaign for tougher gun controls.

Mr. Giuliani said he advocated a ``uniform licensing system with real teeth in it,'' including background checks, lessons, tests, and required renewals every two years to ``show you're stable, you're healthy, you're able to handle a gun.''

Mr. Riordan said California already has a 15-day waiting period, well beyond the five-day waiting period of the Brady bill just passed by Congress. ``It doesn't go far enough,'' Riordan said. Court weighs strike fines

The Supreme Court is examining the way judges impose contempt-of-court fines in considering whether the United Mine Workers of America must pay $52 million related to a violent 1989 labor strike in Virginia.

The union is asking the high court to lift the fines, which were believed to be the largest civil contempt sanction ever imposed by an American court. After hearing arguments yesterday, the justices are expected to rule by next July.

The union contends the contempt proceeding actually was criminal in nature and thus should have provided greater constitutional protections. The union also says the fines were unconstitutionally excessive.

The Clinton administration is supporting the two coal companies targeted by the strike. They argue the fines were properly imposed in a civil proceeding intended to coerce the union into stopping violent activity.

The fines stemmed from a strike by the union and its District 28 against two affiliated coal companies, Clinchfield Coal and Sea ``B'' Mining Company, from April through December 1989. The union said it was protesting unfair labor practices.

The strike drew international attention and labor support because of the use of women, children, and non-miner supporters in sit-down demonstrations and because 99 miners took over a coal-processing plant for several days.

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