Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) is the gun control kitchen cabinet of billionaire Michael Bloomberg, ever on his quest to deny God-given rights to law-abiding Americans even while he enjoys them. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruen, Bloomberg summoned his coterie to New York City.
Reporting for Duty
The cattle call included a who’s-who of gun control mayors. Many have defunded their police departments, restricted gun rights and some have already been rebuffed by courts for misguided local policies.
Baltimore Democratic Mayor Brandon Scott joined the meeting, as did St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, Little Rock, Ark., Mayor Frank Scott and Buffalo, N.Y., Mayor Byron Brown. Kansas City’s Mayor Quinton Lucas attended too – he was just named “Gun Sense Lawmaker of the Year” by Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety for his participation in a scheme by mayors to sue gun manufacturers.
Democratic New York City Mayor and MAIG co-chair Eric Adams took the lead and professed the group’s endgame – driving a lawful industry to shutter by taking legal action against manufacturers and retailers who “let guns fall into the wrong hands.” “We must have an ‘all hands on deck’ moment.”
Mount Vernon, N.Y., Democratic Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard added, “This is what we’re seeing, because of the proliferation of illegal guns, crime guns that are in our communities.”
“Crime guns” and “illegal guns” are, in fact, illegal. To the mayors, it doesn’t matter that firearms lawfully-sold at retail, where the buyer must pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification, are only a tiny sliver of the guns used to commit crimes, according to data.
Nearly 90 percent of firearms used by a criminal being sentenced for a gun crime last year in federal court were illegally obtained, says the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) 2021 U.S. Sentencing Commission report. For Bloomberg and the MAIG members, facts be damned.
St. Louis’s Mayor Jones said it’s the manufacturers’ fault, not the criminals. “If this were any other industry that was as deadly then the government would have already acted to make sure that we got rid of whatever was killing our citizens,” Mayor Jones said.
Mayor Adams repeated their pledge to go after gun makers by filing lawsuits under local “public nuisance” laws like in New York, New Jersey and California. The laws are an attempt to blame firearm manufacturers and retailers for the criminal actions of a remote third-party, or criminals.
Law-abiding citizens in these cities have something else in mind – namely their Second Amendment rights. Lawful firearm sales have reached record levels over the past couple of years, including over 1 million firearms sold for 34 months in a row. Little Rock’s Mayor Scott said the mayors need to ignore the actions of the federal government and the Supreme Court, terming the will of the people “inaction on guns.” “This is left to local leaders to solve the problem,” he said.
Bloomberg’s MAIG could learn from history. In the 1990s, then-Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo tried to put the industry out of business through “death by a thousand cuts.” He violated antitrust laws and conspired with big city mayors to politicize law enforcement purchasing if firearm manufacturers didn’t go along with antigun “code of conduct” schemes.
NSSF, along with several manufacturers, successfully sued the now former disgraced-governor and his co-conspirators.
It led to enactment of the bipartisan Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005, signed into law by President George W. Bush. The PLCAA said the firearm industry could not be sued for the unlawful actions of criminals who use a previously lawfully-sold firearm to commit a violent act. It is akin to Ford being sued for the actions of a drunk driver who was driving an F-150.
Legal Professor Victor Schwartz recently wrote, “The PLCAA remains a commonsense law that protects against unsound attempts to radically change a fundamental liability law principle.”
A new report shows Americans are fleeing major cities in droves. The Top 10 are all run by Democratic mayors, including San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle and others. It’s a lesson Bloomberg’s MAIG hasn’t learned. They should focus on keeping residents safe and protecting their rights, instead of going soft on criminals while wasting efforts on misguided attempts to squelch rights.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.