Mayors Against Illegal Guns

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Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Violence Policy Center

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition (MAIG) is a coalition of mayors and former mayors, with the stated goal of urging the federal Congress to pass laws to control the trade in illegal firearms and to pass laws to make it easier for law enforcement to identify the origin of guns used in crime[1]. The group was formed on April 25, 2006, during a summit held at Gracie Mansion in New York City that was hosted by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The CEO of this coalition is Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

The initial group consisted of 15 mayors; the 15 drafted and signed a statement of principles[2] and set a goal to expand their membership to 50 mayors by the end of 2006. That goal was met six months ahead of schedule, and led to its current claimed membership (see below) of more than 425 mayors.

The Coalition is composed of mayors from both major political parties, the Progressive Party, and the Green Party[3], and its statement of principles has received the endorsement of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Conference of Black Mayors.[4] The majority of members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, unsurprisingly, are Democrats.

Contents

[edit] Origin and funding

Mayors Against Illegal Guns was founded by mayors Michael Bloomberg and Thomas Menino of New York City and Boston in 2006.[5] Bloomberg is the largest funder of the group, having contributed $2.9 million. Eli Broad contributed $750,000 and the Joyce Foundation contributed $1.1 million.[6]

[edit] Public money

In May 2012, reports surfaced that pro-RKBA group Florida Carry had discovered MAIG activists snouting up to the trough on city payrolls in Orlando and other U.S. cities at taxpayer expense.[7][8] For example,


Leftquote.gif
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Long-time gun control activist and Tallahassee lobbyist Linda S. Vaughn currently fills the Orlando position, called “MAIG Regional Coordinator”, which shows a $60K per year salary. However the fiscal impact document shows a $24K shortfall for that position, paid out of the general fund. Her contract with the city is annual, and was most recently renewed in February 2012.[7]
Rightquote.gif

Needless to say, Florida Carry was not happy with the notion of taxpayer money being used to undermine the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. But Orlando wasn’t the only place identified where MAIG had infiltrated local government. Similar positions were uncovered in Augusta, ME; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Columbus, OH; Lewiston, ME; and Seattle, WA. The position was quietly eliminated in Jacksonville, FL ahead of the 2010 elections and was recently eliminated in Reading, PA.

[edit] Legislative Initiatives

Since its inception, the MAIG has lobbied for legislation that meets their stated goals of curtailing illegal acquisition of firearms and aiding law enforcement in tracking illegal gun purchases. The group's legislative advocacy goals include:

[edit] Repealing the Tiahrt Amendment

One of the primary goals of the organization concerns the Tiahrt Amendment. The Tiahrt Amendment is a piece of legislation described by its authors as intended to protect the privacy of gun owners and to prevent abuse of data by anyone outside of law enforcement.[9] Since its passage in 2003 as an amendment to an appropriations bill, the Amendment has forbidden the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from releasing information from its firearms trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agency or prosecutor in connection with a criminal investigation, and any data so released is deemed inadmissible in a civil lawsuit.[10]

The coalition objects that the Tiahrt Amendment for these reasons:

  • Restricts access of state and local law enforcement authority to gun trace data, hindering municipal police departments' ability to track down sellers of illegal guns, to investigate gun trafficing patterns, and to make connections between separate cases.[11] Mayor Bloomberg has called the Amendment "an insult to the thousands of police officers that face the threat of illegal guns."[12][13]
  • Because the NICS background check records are required to be destroyed within 24 hours that it is harder for law enforcement authority to catch law-breaking gun dealers who falsify their records. It also makes it more difficult to identify and track straw purchasers who buy guns on behalf of criminals who wouldn't be able to pass a background check.[13]
  • ATF is denied the power to require dealer inventory checks to detect lost and stolen guns. (However, under current rules the BATFE can conduct a warrantless search of any licensed gun dealer once each year.)[14]

In July 2007, after the House Appropriations Committee rebuffed attempts to repeal the amendment, the Senate Appropriations Committee went further, approving a bill that, according to the New York Times, "threatens law enforcement officials with prison time for using gun tracing data beyond a specific investigation, say, for identifying and targeting trafficking patterns."[15]

Congressman Tiahrt responded to the MAIG's claims in a congressional statement on his amendment and the MAIG, in which he quoted National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Chuck Canterbury[16]:

Leftquot.png At issue is a campaign urging repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment, which prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from releasing gun trace data to the public. The ATF gun trace database contains investigation-specific information and is made available to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors for criminal investigations. The ATF and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the nation’s largest law enforcement organization, support the Tiahrt Amendment and have requested its reauthorization every year since 2003. Both organizations claim repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment would jeopardize ongoing criminal investigations and risk the lives of undercover law enforcement officers. Rightquot.png
FOP President Chuck Canterbury
  • The organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns is behind the Tiahrt repeal campaign. The group claims to have the support of numerous police chiefs across the country, which is also misleading according to National FOP President Chuck Canterbury.
  • “The mayors would have you believe that law enforcement supports giving them the information on gun traces because many of their employees -- namely police chiefs, who often serve at the pleasure of the mayor -- have publicly backed their coalition,” explained Canterbury. “But the officers in the field who are actually working illegal gun cases know that releasing sensitive information about pending cases can jeopardize the integrity of an investigation or even place the lives of undercover officers in danger. That is why the Fraternal Order of Police has always supported language protecting firearms trace data, now known as the ‘Tiahrt amendment.’ For the men and women in uniform who are fighting illegal guns, it is a matter of officer safety and good police work.”"[16]

In the same statement, Tiahrt asserted: "NY Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FOP have all requested this language to protect investigations and law enforcement officers. Hopefully it is true that not one law enforcement officer ever died prior to the enactment of the Tiahrt protection—Rep. Tiahrt joins the FOP, ATF and others in supporting a policy that will keep it that way."[16]

[edit] More stringent purchase and theft reporting requirements

The MAIG has called for mandatory background checks through a Federally-licensed dealer on all handgun purchases at gun shows, even between adult residents of the same state.[17][18] This is what advocates say would close "the so-called gun show loophole".[19][20]

With the stated goal of reducing the number of straw purchases of guns, the coalition has favored new legislation to require mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns.[21] As of September, 2009, seven states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island) and the District of Columbia have laws criminalizing failure to report lost and stolen guns to law enforcement. Several other states and local governments are working to pass similar laws.[22]

Former prosecuting attorney C.D. Michel analyzed mandatory reporting laws, using one in Ventura County, California as an example:

Leftquot.png Ironically, the ordinance cannot be used against the real bad guys. No law can compel lawbreakers to report themselves. So a straw purchaser who legally buys a gun cannot be compelled to report that he resold it illegally. And since it wasn't actually lost or stolen, he hasn't violated the ordinance. Similarly, if a felon prohibited from possessing a gun illegally possesses one anyway, and it is lost or stolen, he can be prosecuted for having the gun in the first place, but cannot be prosecuted for failing to incriminate himself by reporting the loss.

Enforcement of these ordinances places prosecutors in a precarious legal and ethical position. Say a straw-purchaser's gun is recovered at a crime scene and traced back to him. If he lies to police claiming his gun was "stolen" when he really sold it on the black market, will we nonetheless prosecute him for something he did not do (fail to report the "stolen" gun — which wasn't actually stolen) but to which he "confessed"? Ethics and legality aside, securing a misdemeanor conviction for failing to report a theft (that never occurred) likely prohibits prosecuting the straw purchaser for the more serious felony black market sale or for making a false statement to police.

Perhaps worse, gun owners who truly are burglary victims must now hesitate to speak with police if their stolen gun is recovered at a crime scene. If the gun owner failed to report the loss at all, or on time, she faces possible criminal prosecution if she cooperates with police investigating the recovered gun. She should remain silent, get a lawyer and seek immunity first.

Legal representation may also be appropriate when a gun is first discovered missing. The owner can be prosecuted if the theft is not reported within 48 hours of when the owner "should have known" the gun was missing. Proponents have made clear they believe "responsible" gun owners should know where their gun is at every single moment and "should know" a gun is gone immediately. And the fear of prosecution will encourage those who miss the 48-hour window not to report the loss at all.

Effectively, these ordinances place the legitimate gun owner in jeopardy of prosecution for becoming a victim of a crime. In light of these liabilities, gun-rights groups and the criminal-defense bar have begun advising gun owners — who would ordinarily be happy to assist police with their investigation — that they need a lawyer if they are contacted by police.

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[edit] Other legislative initiatives

Position papers published by the MAIG and their public pronouncements list several other legislative goals.[23] These include:

  • Ending so-called "gun dealer fire sales" --which are intrastate sales of guns by former gun dealers. (These are guns left over from their former business that were transferred to their private collections. By current Federal law, these can be sold intrastate, as private party sales.)[24][20]
  • Banning firearm sales to those on the TSA "No Fly List" (also sometimes called the Terrorist Watch List).[20] Critics have countered that the watch list has thousands of "false positives" (like, for example, former US Senator Ted Kennedy).[25]
  • Requiring background checks on all gun-handling employees of firearms dealers.[20]
  • Opposition to the Thune Amendment. This "National Concealed Carry Amendment" would have allowed interstate concealed carry of firearms by the holders of valid concealed carry permits.[26]. The bill was narrowly defeated by fillibuster in July 2009.[27]

[edit] Participating Mayors

The coalition claims an active membership of "over 450 mayors"[28] but this figure is vigorously diputed (See "I'm in WHAT?" below).[29]

[edit] Criticism, controversy and resignations

[edit] Indicted, convicted, and scandalized members

A substantial number of member of the coalition have been indicted in recent months, on felony charges. Here in the US, conviction of felony means the immediate loss of both the right to vote and the right to own a gun for the rest of one's life. This is an organization that espouses doing away with "illegal guns", yet a surprising number of their members have made choices in their lives that have set themselves on the path to being disenfranchised from ever owning a gun.

Personal character and integrity are prerequisites for anyone entering public office, to serve in an elected position of "special trust and confidence", such as a mayorship. Abuses of that trust, gross lapses of integrity, and forays into criminal conduct are not tolerated in our society. If anything, elected politicians are held to a higher standard than the general public, and their actions are closely watched. For an elected official to become a criminal, when they themselves are entrusted to protect us from criminals is nearly the most heinous and unforgivable thing imaginable in a democratically-ruled republic. For some of these same individuals to continue to be considered members in good standing of a "crime-fighting" organization--and not even censured by the organization--has been criticized as being hypocritical.

Four current and former members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition are currently under felony indictments, five others were recently convicted of felonies, one indicted member died of a heart attack before completion of his trial, and one member was recently convicted of a violent misdemeanor. The indicted and convicted members and former members include:

  • Former Mayor Gary Becker of Racine, Wisconsin is under five felony indictments for child pornography, attempted child sexual assault and child enticement. He resigned after pleading not guilty and being released on bond. His location is currently being monitored electronically, as he awaits a trial scheduled to begin in October 2009.
  • Former Mayor David Della Donna, of Guttenberg, New Jersey was indicted under a Federal extortion and mail fraud charges. He was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison.
  • Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted in 2009 on twelve counts, comprising four counts of perjury, two counts of misconduct, three counts of theft, and three counts of fraudulent misappropriations. The felony theft charges stem partly from incidents in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 in which she allegedly misappropriated gift cards intended for the poor and used them for personal purchases. Dixon's trial, originally scheduled for September 8, 2009, was postponed to November 9, 2009.
  • Mayor Jerramiah Healy was convicted for obstruction of justice in 2007 and more recently was implicated in the corruption sweep in New Jersey involving the sale of body parts and money laundering. In all, 44 individuals were indicted. (Healy was named as "JC Official 4" and implicated, but was not indicted, in the probe.)
  • Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was indicted, arrested, and convicted. and subsequently jailed for 99 days. Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felony obstruction of justice charges stemming from his efforts to cover up an extramarital affair. He also pleaded no contest to charges of assaulting a police officer attempting to serve a subpoena on a Kilpatrick friend in that case. The charges and allegations (not all against Kilpatrick himself) were of marital infidelity, conspiracy, perjury, corruption and murder. Following Kilpatrick's conviction, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called on Kilpatrick to resign from the Coalition.
  • Mayor Larry Langford was investigated in 2007 by the SEC on corruption charges. In 2008 a lawsuit was filed against him for illegally accepting $156,000 in cash and benefits. On December 1, 2008, Larry Langford was arrested by the FBI on a 101 count indictment alleging conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns in connection with a long-running bribery scheme. His trial date was postponed to October 2009, and the trial venue moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
  • Deceased Mayor Frank Melton at the time of his death was under felony indictment on civil rights charges. (He died before a scheduled re-trial, following a mistrial.) In 2006, Melton pled guilty to a firearms charge, stemming from a raid (in which he was armed with a concealed pistol) on a suspected crack house. Melton conducted the extra-official Buford Pusser-style raid without a warrant to "bust up" a duplex apartment, accompanied by a group of youths that were not sworn law enforcement officers. That same event led to Melton's civil rights indictment. In November 2006, he pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges: carrying a gun in a park and in a church, and carrying a concealed weapon.
  • Mayor Eddie Perez was indicted on bribery, fabricating evidence, and conspiracy to fabricate evidence felony charges. Perez turned himself in to state police, stating that he had a lapse in judgment but did nothing illegal, and vowed that he would not step down as Hartford's mayor. He was arraigned on September 8, 2009. His trial date was postponed to November 2009, and then to February, 2010. On September 2, 2009 Perez was again arrested, and additionally charged with first-degree larceny by extortion, stemming from a no-bid parking lot deal, unrelated to the other corruption charges. He again proclaimed that he would stay in office, despite these new felony charges. On June 18, 2010, he was found guilty on 5 of 6 charges, effectively putting an end to his huffings and puffings about clinging to office.
  • Former Mayor Samuel Rivera, of Passaic, New Jersey was convicted of corruption, influence peddling, and extortion charges. In August 2008 he pled guilty,and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
  • In 2008, former Mayor Will Wynn was convicted of Class C misdemeanor, for a choking assault on a man who had crashed a party.

Five current members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition have been troubled by scandals that involved firearms:

  • As New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg came into office, he inherited a chronic firearms permit favoritism scandal from his predecessors that still remains an unresolved issue. Writing in the New York Sun, attorney David Kopel observed: "The problem is acute in New York City. Celebrities, the ultra-wealthy, and the politically influential get carry permits. But many of the people who need them the most — such as stalking victims, or crime witnesses who have been threatened by the criminal's friends — often do not." There are currently only about 36,169 permits to keep firearms in private homes in New York City, with the majority issued to retired police officers. Of these permit holders, only 2,516 are more liberally licensed for concealed carry outside their homes. The issuance of permits is discretionary in New York City, per Penal Law 400. (It is considered a "may issue" locality, unlike the "shall issue" policy used for concealed carry in most other localities.) Despite "tight" restrictions on "demonstrated need or special danger", a who’s-who list of celebrities, billionaires, entertainers, professional athletes, and politicians have somehow managed to get firearms permits. This list includes New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, publisher Michael Korda, and talk show host Howard Stern. In 2007, The New York Post reported that gun license holders include financier Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Queens district attorney Richard A. Brown, Westchester County district attorney, Janet DiFiore, music executive Tommy Mottola, chief executive of Marvel Comics, Isaac Perlmutter, radio show host Don Imus, lawyer Barry Slotnick, lawyer Raoul Felder; publisher Robert Forbes, the cab-driving political activist Fernando Mateo, former new York Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (recently indicted for fraud), actor Robert De Niro, actor Harvey Keitel, film producer Martin Bregman, cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder, and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler. All of these individuals have retained their gun licenses under Bloomberg's "tough on guns" administration. The New York Post noted: "Television news anchor John Roland, who let his license lapse in 2006, got his gun permit back in 2007." A surprisingly high number of celebrities have concealed carry permits, rather than the more common "keep at home" (premise) permits. According to The New York Times, "Mr. Bloomberg asked Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly to look at the issue, and added: 'If you want a gun permit, you should have to really show that your life is in danger, and that having a gun will protect you, will improve the chances of you surviving.'" But despite Bloomberg's publicly-stated concern, there have been no announcements of any celebrity gun permits being rescinded, or any reforms to prevent favoritism, cronyism, bribes, or other abuse of discretion in license issuance. With a city population of 8.3 million, the 36,169 gun permit holders represent just .043% of the population and the 2,516 concealed carry permit holders represent a scant .003% of the population.
  • Mayor Richard M. Daley has been criticized for the city of Chicago's long-standing practice of providing armed bodyguards for a number of city politicians, including city clerk James "Jim" Laski. In the city clerk scandal, Daley was shamed into removing the perk of the armed bodyguards for the clerk. The Chicago Sun-Times reported: "The decision was made almost immediately after Laski became the first elected official to be caught up in the Hired Truck scandal. But Daley insisted that the bribery and extortion charges against Laski were not the trigger. It was the fact that, until this week, Laski had not been showing up for work." Laski was later convicted of taking $48,000 in bribes and received a two year sentence. Former Mayor Eugene Sawyer, City Treasurer Judy Rice and Alderman Edward M. Burke, chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee still have armed bodyguards.
  • Mayor Gerald Jennings of Albany, New York was implicated in a scandal regarding the alleged illegal purchase of 52 machine guns. It is unclear whether the weapons were purchased for departmental use or for the use of private individuals. Weapons were delivered to Police Department addresses but paid for with private funds. The Department has not produced a list of weapons, their location, the names of the individuals who purchased them, or their disposition or destruction. At least one later turned up, illegally for sale to the public, in an area gun store. The police officer who sold the gun to the store has testified that he bought it from a Police Union official who was also the Department's armorer. The current Chief of Police is the fifth appointed by Jennings. The case is still open.
  • Following the illegal seizure of firearms in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin settled a lawsuit and had a permanent injunction issued prohibiting Nagin or any New Orleans employee from confiscating any lawfully possessed firearm and ordering the return of hundreds of illegally confiscated firearms (they had been confiscated at Mayor Nagin's order). Nagin's administration has also been troubled by reports of improprieties with the police department evidence rooms, where guns were stolen, guns were allowed to rust, and $200,000 in cash was stolen.
  • Mayor Bill White's administration has been embarrassed by an ongoing scandal involving guns stolen from the Houston Police Department's evidence room. In January 2009, the Houston Chronicle reported: "For months, maybe years, people with criminal backgrounds had access to secure areas of the police station, including a property room from which 30 guns disappeared within six months, according to internal police documents. The documents, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, indicated that lax security created an environment ripe for theft. No one has been charged in the gun thefts, although police suspected telephone repairmen who admitted stealing other items, and a temporary employee who had access to the property room while awaiting trial on aggravated robbery charges."

[edit] Resignations

Announced resignations

Twelve mayors that had been members have withdrawn from the organization, claiming either that they were misled about the group's anti-gun platform, or that they were enrolled in the coalition without their knowledge. They are:

  • Idaho Falls, Idaho Mayor Jared Fuhriman
  • Carmel, Indiana Mayor James Brainard
  • Rio Rancho, New Mexico Mayor Kevin Jackson
  • Anchorage, Alaska Mayor Mark Begich
  • Oldmans Township, New Jersey Mayor Harry Moore
  • Walton Hills, Ohio Mayor Marlene Anielski,
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania Mayor Mary B. Wolf
  • Madeira Beach, Florida Mayor Patricia Shontz
  • Knoxville, Tennessee Mayor Bill Haslam
  • Warsaw, Indiana Mayor Ernest B. Wiggins
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota Mayor Dave Munson
  • Houston, Texas Mayor Bill White

In her resignation letter, Mayor Patricia Shontz of Madeira Beach, Florida wrote, “I am withdrawing because I believe the MAIG is attempting to erode all gun ownership, not just illegal guns. Additionally, I have learned that the MAIG may be working on issues which conflict with legal gun ownership.” She added, “It appears the MAIG has misrepresented itself to the Mayors of America and its citizens. This is gun control, not crime prevention.”

In his resignation letter to Bloomberg, Mayor Harry Moore stated: "It is simply unconscionable that this coalition, under your leadership, would call for a repeal of the Shelby /Tiahrt amendment that helps to safeguard criminal investigations and the lives of law enforcement officers, witnesses and others by restricting access to firearms trace data solely to law enforcement. How anyone, least of all a public official, could be willing to sacrifice such a law enforcement lifeline in order to gain an edge in suing an industry they have political differences with is repugnant to me. The fact that your campaign against this protective language consisted of overheated rhetoric, deception and falsehoods is disturbing."

The resignations of Kevin Jackson and Jared Fuhriman left the state of Idaho completely unrepresented in the organization, and Alaska with just one representative mayor. Since Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City left office, it has also left Utah unrepresented. Mayor Kathy Taylor of Tulsa, Oklahoma has announced that she will not seek re-election, and as of September, 2009, her name has been removed from the coalition's roster. This also leaves Oklahoma unrepresented. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors there are 1,201 cities in the US with a population of 30,000 or more that are headed by mayors. Several of the mayors in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition represent even smaller towns and cities--particularly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which are disproportionately represented.

One theme of criticism involves the character of the MAIG's founder. The New York Times, reporting on a National Rifle Association (NRA) article that was strongly critical of the coalition quotes the NRA as describing Bloomberg as “...a billionaire, Boston-grown evangelist for the nanny state." The article also quotes the NRA's contributing editor James O. E. Norell as stating: “Beholden to nothing except his own ambitions, the mayor has established himself as a kind of national gun-control vigilante,”[30]

While the coalition asserts that their main focus is the effective control of only illegally-obtained guns, a second theme of criticism is that the coalition is a perceived threat to law-abiding gun ownership and legal gun commerce. The online magazine AmmoLand.com has criticized the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, claiming that they have failed to account for two important things: "the response of gun owners to this new threat" of "new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners" and that "many mayors would not take kindly to being misled regarding the real purpose of Mayors Against Illegal Guns".

[edit] I'm in WHAT?

A third criticism is a claim that the coalition has inflated its membership numbers.[29] Some mayors that had been members[26] have withdrawn from the organization. The reasons for resignation are not always specified, and in recent months many resignations have occurred in the wake of letter writing campaigns organized and initiated by pro-gun political lobbying groups. For example, one former member mentioned that he had resigned because he had been misled about the coalition's agenda, while another explained that he was enrolled in the coalition without his knowledge.[31] Mayors who have resigned, as cited in published media accounts, include:

  • Idaho Falls, Idaho Mayor Jared Fuhriman[32]
  • Carmel, Indiana Mayor James Brainard [33]
  • Rio Rancho, New Mexico Mayor Kevin Jackson[32]
  • Anchorage, Alaska Former mayor (now US Senator) Mark Begich[32]
  • Oldmans Township, New Jersey Mayor Harry Moore[34][35]
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania Mayor Mary B. Wolf[32]
  • Madeira Beach, Florida Mayor Patricia Shontz[29]
  • Knoxville, Tennessee Mayor Bill Haslam[36]
  • Warsaw, Indiana Mayor Ernest B. Wiggins[37]
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota Mayor Dave Munson[6]
  • Burlington, North Carolina Mayor Ronnie K. Wall[38]
  • Tampa, Florida Mayor Pam Iorio[39]
Leftquot.png There seems to someone outthere who just decided my name should be added to this list. I do not support anything these folks are trying to do. I have asked repeatedly to have my name removed yet they ignore me. If I could ask you for your help by clearly an plainly stating that I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS . I am a gun owner an avid hunter. thanks for your inquiry an wish you well. Rightquot.png
, Bowling Green FL Mayor Perry Knight, October 2011

In his resignation letter, Bill Haslam wrote: "Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that MAIG has expanded its efforts far beyond its original mission of fighting against illegal gun use by criminals to include advocacy for a number of proposed policies that I believe intrude on the rights of legitimate gun owners."[40]

In his resignation letter to Bloomberg, Mayor Harry Moore stated: "It is simply unconscionable that this coalition, under your leadership, would call for a repeal of the Shelby /Tiahrt amendment that helps to safeguard criminal investigations and the lives of law enforcement officers, witnesses and others by restricting access to firearms trace data solely to law enforcement. How anyone, least of all a public official, could be willing to sacrifice such a law enforcement lifeline in order to gain an edge in suing an industry they have political differences with is repugnant to me. The fact that your campaign against this protective language consisted of overheated rhetoric, deception and falsehoods is disturbing."[35]

In September 2014, Ridgecrest CA Mayor Dan Clark learned that without his knowledge his name had been signed to a letter MAIG had submitted (supposedly) on behalf of 69 California mayors in support of the passage of more gun control. He did not support the MAIG letter, much less sign it, and he said if MAIG used his name, "they did it illegally."[41]

[edit] Gun rights groups lobbying campaign

Several mayors have reported that they have been pressured by NRA and Gun Owners of America (GOA) members, who are acting as part of a lobby campaign instigated by the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) to assert political pressure on mayors who are group members to resign from the MAIG.[42][43][44][45][46][47]

Mayor Tom Henry of Fort Wayne Indiana reported that some NRA members in his community had received letters that read in part: “It is critical that your mayor disassociate himself from this anti-gun group and you can do your part by contacting his office today and urging him to withdraw his MAIG membership,” [44]

Newspaper reports state that the NRA web site lists 40 mayors have resigned from the group "after hearing from their constituents."[42] The NRA acknowledges that it has indeed encouraged its members to contact their mayors, if they are MAIG members.[48]

[edit] References

  1. Gardner,, Thomas J.; Terry M. Anderson (2008). Criminal Law. Cengage Learning pages = 224. ISBN 9780495390893.
  2. Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Principles 6-12-07
  3. Carl T. Hall, "Mayor concedes race -- city largest in nation with Green leadership", San Francisco Chronicle, November 22, 2006
  4. Coalition History Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition 6-6-07
  5. Michael Bloomberg et al, "Some Gun Rules We Can All Agree On," The Wall Street Journal, 2008-06-30
  6. 6.0 6.1 Manuel Roig-Franzia, "A Battle of Goliaths: Michael Bloomberg and His Gun Control Group Take on the NRA" Washington Post, August 5, 2009
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Activists For Anti-Gun Group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Discovered On Government Payrolls" Ammoland.com, May 22, 2012.
  8. Ward, Kenric, "Group Blasts Orlando's Use of Tax Dollars to Muzzle Gun Rights". Sunshine State News, May 22, 2012.
  9. http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=208
  10. Full text of current Tiahrt Amendment From ProtectPolice.org, a project of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
  11. Knight, Healther (June 19, 2007) "Mayors Fight Gun Measure." San Francisco Chronicle.
  12. msnbc.msn.com Retrieved on July 10, 2007
  13. 13.0 13.1 Mayors Against Illegal Guns - Tiahrt Amendment Facts: History and Effect 2009-09-13
  14. FFL Compliance Inspections ATF Fact Sheet, June 2008
  15. The New York Times July 17, 2007
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Tiahrt Responds to MAIG Campaign of Lies and Distortion June 12, 2007
  17. "Movement of Illegal Guns in America" MAIG, December 2008
  18. "Gun Show Loophole," MAIG
  19. MAIG press release
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Gorgani, David, "Mayors Briefed on MAIG, Gun Legislation During New York Forum," US Mayor Newspaper, August 25, 2008
  21. Reporting Lost and Stolen Guns, MAIG
  22. Dan Miller, "Harrisburg committee to discuss gun-control proposal," pennlive.com, March 31, 2009
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Gorgain
  24. MAIG press release
  25. Clarence Page, "On terror ‘no-fly’ list, but still buying guns," Aspen Daily News, 7-5-09
  26. 26.0 26.1 "400 Mayors Call on Congress to Respect State Autonomy and Protect Public Safety by Voting NO on the Thune Concealed Carry Amendment," MAIG, 7-17-09
  27. Donny Shaw, "Senate Democrats Defeat the Thune Gun-Rights Amendment," Open Congress, July 22, 2009
  28. "Message from the Co-Chairs," MAIG
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 AmmoLand.Com - Gun Owners Call Mayors Out On Mayors Against Illegal Guns 2009-09-12
  30. Diane Cardwel, "N.R.A. Covers Bloomberg, and Results Aren’t Pretty," New York Times, April 15, 2007
  31. Bradley Hope, "An Idaho Mayor Withdraws From Bloomberg's Gun Group," The New York Sun, January 17, 2007
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 "A Fourth Mayor Quits Bloomberg Anti-Gun Group," New York Sun, March 15, 2007
  33. Bradley Hope, "Lobbyists Scramble Ahead of ‘No. 1' Gun Vote," New York Sun, June 28, 2007
  34. Jill Gardiner, "Mayor Heads to D.C. To Talk Traffic, Guns," New York Sun, July 10, 2007
  35. 35.0 35.1 Moore's resignation letter, 7-9-07
  36. Kleinheider, "Bill Haslam Joined The NRA In ‘Late February Or Early March’," Nashville Post, April 9, 2009
  37. Jennifer Peryam, "Wiggins Denies Being Member Of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition," Times-Union, 9-10-09
  38. Tristan Long, "Mayor surprised to see name tied to concealed weapons ad," Times-News, July 27, 2009
  39. Iorio under fire on guns, St. Petersburg Times, September 24, 2009
  40. Bill Haslam's resignation letter
  41. Awr Hawkins, "CA MAYOR SAYS BLOOMBERG'S GUN CONTROL GROUP USED HIS NAME 'ILLEGALLY'". breitbart.com, 9/6/14.
  42. 42.0 42.1 Gina Vasselli, "Mayor stands up to NRA pressure," The Item, 2009-09-15
  43. Edler notes NRA pressure to quit Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Yakima Herald-Republic Online 2009-09-15
  44. 44.0 44.1 Henry resists heat from NRA The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind. 2009-09-15
  45. Is Mayor Haslam against illegal guns or not? KnoxViews 2009-09-15
  46. www.nraila.org 2009-09-15
  47. David Slade, "NRA targets Riley affiliation," Post & Courier," September 13, 2009
  48. "Gun Owners Tell Mayors The Truth About "Mayors Against Illegal Guns"," NRA website, September 11, 2009


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