Twenty-one mayors in Washington State, including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, are members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), and it is going to surprise some people in various rural Evergreen State communities that their local official is among them.
The anti-gun mayors’ group has been busy exploiting the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy for the past six weeks, following in step with anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who issued his first demand for tighter gun restrictions even before the bodies of 20 children and six adults had been removed from the crime scene on Dec. 14.
UPDATE: At a Monday morning press conference, Deputy Seattle Police Chief Nick Metz reported that McGinn’s Freeway Firearms enterprise on Saturday netted 716 guns, including four that are confirmed stolen. This accounts for a math discrepancy involving earlier reports that suggested 160 guns had been acquired.
“McGinn’s Freeway Firearms” had plenty of competition from private purchasers who typically would display their driver’s license and a concealed pistol license to any potential seller.
While the mayor is not happy about the curbside sales, it is entirely the fault of those who organized this event in an open environment, under a freeway, setting the stage for what took on the semblance of a flea market.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, has taken some delight in exposing the criminal misdeeds of some members and former members of the mayors’ group. He launched that effort in November.
It may not surprise many people in Bellingham that Mayor Kelli Linville is a MAIG member, but it might raise some eyebrows in Snoqualmie that Matthew Larson is listed, as it might in Duvall where Will Ibershof’s name is on the rolls. Likewise, Chewelah Mayor H. Clarence Bauman and Morton Mayor James F. Gerwig are members, as are the following:
Mayor Garland D. Walton, Connell; Mayor Ava Frisinger, Issaquah; Mayor Liz Reynolds, Enumclaw; Mayor Gary S. Jensen, Ferndale; Mayor Ron (Pete) Poulson, Kalama; Mayor David M. Ferguson, Mesa; Mayor Daniel N. Mork, Millwood; Mayor Dennis Palmer, Oakesdale; Mayor Spencer Nichols, Pe Ell; Mayor John Marchione, Redmond; Mayor Terry Anderson, SeaTac; Mayor Dianne W. White, Stanwood, and Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma.
Noticeably absent from this group is Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley, who has become something of a political folk hero among Pacific Northwest gun rights activists for his approach to the parks gun ban ordinance that is still on the books in his Whidbey Island community. He knows the ordinance is illegal under the state preemption law, and he also considers it unconstitutional.
As this column has reported here and here, the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation has contacted Oak Harbor about the problem and it is the mayor’s intention to bring the issue before the city council next Tuesday, Feb. 5.
So far, only one of these mayors has staged a “gun buy-back” and is calling it a big success, with more efforts to follow.
The gun prohibition controversy is heating up, from the White House and Capitol Hill all the way down to city halls in small towns and cities all over the nation. The Oak Harbor flap is part of this and possibly an indication of things to come, especially in communities where the mayors have joined the anti-gun mayors’ organization.
Washington and Virginia have been targeted in a pilot program launched by SAF last year to identify communities with local laws that are in conflict with state preemption statutes. Surprisingly, Gottlieb recently advised Examiner, he has found more such communities in Washington, but so far, only Oak Harbor has not quickly corrected the situation.
Expect the gun rights issue to become more local as this battle unfolds. Talk of gun bans at the state and national level is creating an atmosphere in which, as a longtime friend recently observed, “people will be choosing sides.” In 21 Washington communities, it appears mayors already have.
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Second Amendment Foundation
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