Naples Mayor Bill Barnett expected a hard recoil when he joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but the fusillade of angry mail and phone calls startled him.
“We’ve been absolutely bombed with protest,” he said. “I’m not a radical and I don’t get involved in a lot of causes, but I joined this group because it seems like a reasonable organization.”
The National Rifle Association has taken aim at the coalition of some 450 mayors -- 45 of them in Florida -- alerting gun owners that the group will lobby Congress to end “reciprocity” among states that issue concealed-weapons permits, tighten restrictions on sales at weekend gun shows and weaken privacy protections for gun owners.
Former NRA President Marion Hammer is now one of the most influential lobbyists in Tallahassee. He explains the reason for such a strong response from gun owners: the MAIG group really wants to spread New York-style gun control far and wide.
Now, that's not what I've been hearing. I've been hearing that the mayors really want to eliminate and eventually confiscate guns, to eradicate them to the great detriment of the gun owning public. What President Hammer said is quite different, though.
Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, another member of MAIG had this to say.
“The three things to remember are, it’s designed to keep criminals from having illegal guns, there’s no intent whatsoever to deny or infringe on any law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment rights and we want to do everything we can to assist law enforcement,” said Marks. “That’s all there is to it.”
The mayors are lobbying Congress, mainly because they want background checks done at gun shows, just like they're done in retail stores, and because “each state should respect the other states” by not making states that ban concealed weapons honor licenses from states that allow them.
What's your opinion? Are the Mayors Against Illegal Guns hostile towards gun owners like some say? Do you think it's possible to have "New York-style gun control" far and wide and still not interfere with the rights of lawful gun owners?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.