Is Your Mayor Lobbying Against Your Guns?

Yakima Mayor Edler recently announced that he joined Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). Yakima is dealing with a string of gang-related shootings that have rocked the City of Yakima. MAIG’s Mission Statement declares:

“We support the Second Amendment and the rights of citizens to own guns.”

The anti-gun mayors’ group does not support the right to bear arms, however. MAIG has stated that “a policy that is appropriate for a small town in one region of the country is not necessarily appropriate for a big city in another region of the country.”

Many of the positions taken by MAIG around the U.S. violate our Washington State Constitution and RCW 9.41.290 which “fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation” within Washington State. Thus, our state firearms preemption law prohibits local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law.

Yakima’s City Council recently decided to repeal two illegal firearms restrictions that violate state preemption law.

A nineteen year old man was shot dead during an argument yesterday (September 17, 2009) at the Federal Way Transit Center. There have been previous shootings there, including the death of an innocent bystander.

Federal Way’s neighboring mayor, Pete Lewis of Auburn, and other Washington mayors presumably join Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) to combat violent crime and make cities like Auburn safer.

According to MAIG, more than 450 mayors from big cities and small towns across the country have joined the coalition. MAIG claims that it just seeks common sense solutions that may vary for different localities but MAIG’s real agenda (possibly unknown to well-intentioned mayors like Mr. Lewis- but unlikely at this point in time) is to restrict folks from exercising many of our gun rights, gradually removing the ability of citizens to stop violent crimes immediately by armed self-defense.

Legislation supported by MAIG includes repealing the Tiahrt Amendment which provides for trace data to be provided to law enforcement and prosecutors but prohibits providing firearms information for lawsuits aimed at closing down gun manufacturers and gun shops. The NRA and The Fraternal Order of Police oppose releasing such data as releasing some of the data could jeopardize officer’s lives.

Mayor Bloomberg would restrict people on the terror watch list from buying or owning guns. Earlier this year, Homeland Security warned that some of our troops returning from combat zones pose a potential terrorist threat.

Do we want our returning servicemen and women placed on a watch list and losing their right to keep and bear arms? Once on the list, many Americans have found that there is no way to get off of it- even where the government admits a mistake has been made.

Mayor Nickels of Seattle, a founding member of MAIG, announced again that he is prepared to proceed with an illegal gun ban on city premises despite the certainty that he will soon be leaving office (he did not make it past the primary due to the unpopular style of his governance in the Emerald City). Despite Washington’s firearms preemption law and an imminent legal challenge that Seattle cannot win, Seattle’s lame-duck mayor is foisting huge legal expenses on Seattle’s taxpayers. Isn’t it less expensive to simply punish violent predators to the maximum extent of the law? But Nickels, like a few of Seattle’s other anti-gun politicians now in Washington, DC, is feathering his own nest in hopes of a salaried position with MAIG or even a position in the Obama Administration.

See Dave Workman.

MAIG is against HR 2296 and S. 941 which would clarify the standards and improve the process for imposing penalties related to intentional violations of federal gun laws. MAIG’s opposition is apparently because the proposals are not hard enough on simple paperwork mistakes that can presently result in the BATF harassing and even closing down legitimate gun dealers!

MAIG’s present goal in Washington State is apparently to remove the so-called “gun show loophole”. The argument (shown to be false by Department of Justice statistics) is that, since people can buy guns at gun shows without a background check, many criminals are purchasing guns at gun shows. The Washington Arms Collectors, the organization that hosts many gun shows in Washington, requires that only WAC members (all of whom have passed background checks) can purchase weapons at gun shows. Dealers still have to perform NICS checks at gun shows just like they do in their regular place of business.

Under present Washington law, private parties can presently buy or sell weapons away from gun shows without any background check. Will MAIG want legislation closing the private party loophole next?

Efforts to prevent the existence of any loopholes work better in totalitarian societies. Laws already enacted need to be enforced more strictly before we give up our freedom. Let’s make society safer by making things harder for the predators, not for law abiding gun owners.

You can find out whether your mayor is a member of MAIG with the handy NRA list from the NRA-ILA. The following Washington mayors (as of August 20th, 2009) are involved in this anti-civil rights organization:

Mayor Peter B. Lewis
Auburn, WA

Mayor Cary Bozeman
Bremerton, WA

Mayor Greg Nickels
Seattle, WA

Mayor Bill Baarsma
Tacoma, WA

Mayor Royce Pollard
Vancouver, WA

Mayor David Edler
Yakima, WA

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