Activists for private anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, discovered on city payrolls in Orlando and other U.S. cities at taxpayer expense.
May 21, 2012 - Florida Carry has discovered that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) has been involved in yet another ethically questionable, and possibly unlawful activity in their unceasing quest to infringe on the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. Apparently not satisfied with imposing draconian gun control laws in New York City, “hizzoner” wants to impose those same laws on all gun owners no matter where they live. In addition to the unlawful purchase of firearms under false pretenses at an Arizona gun show ostensibly to evidence the non-existent “gun show loophole”, the group has now been exposed in facilitating the contracting of Regional Coordinators by local governments throughout the United States.
Funded primarily by grants from the United Against Illegal Guns Support Fund (UAIGSF) which is in turn funded by the Joyce Foundation, some local governments have taken the bait and hired anti-gun activists allegedly to assist them with gun violence associated with “illegal” guns. However Florida Carry has discovered that in every city uncovered thus far, including Orlando, Florida, the grant-funded position comes with a generous city benefits package and operational expense requirements paid for by the taxpayer. 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.
Ms. Vaughn’s duties consist primarily of distributing MAIG’s propaganda and recruiting others to do the same, under sanction from the city. These include:
- Working with law enforcement to continue pushing for a safe concealed carry permitting scheme that includes appropriate public safety measures
- Working to pass state or county laws requiring background checks for all gun sales at gun shows and/or a state law requiring reporting of lost or stolen guns
- Working to pass a state law allowing broader local government control of gun laws so that local governments can enact gun laws that they determine would help protect public safety
- Working to pass a new state law requiring regular gun dealer inspections to detect possible sales to illegal gun traffickers
- Working with faith leaders, domestic violence prevention groups, and other partner citizen groups to support the mayors’ agenda. Recruiting 25 faith leaders who agree to regularly write letters or testify in support of coalition-backed legislation, and communicate with their congregations about the coalition’s agenda
- Supporting coalition efforts to promote responsible firearms sales at local firearms retailers. Identifying 2-3 firearms retailers in Florida to approach, either directly or through intermediaries, about signing on to the coalition’s Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership
- Identifying and reaching out to sportsmen’s organizations sympathetic to the coalition’s mission of keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists. Recruiting a core team of 5-10 sportsmen who could testify at legislative hearings in support of legislation backed by the coalition
Note that the emphasis is on promoting the desires of the coalition (MAIG), and the distribution of their propaganda through community organizations.
During our research, Florida Carry discovered that Orlando isn’t the only place where MAIG has infiltrated local government. Similar positions have been 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. Questions remain about the duties of similar positions in Reading, PA.
Florida Carry believes that it is ethically improper, and perhaps even unlawful for the City of Orlando, or any other local government to fund a position whose sole purpose is to undermine Second Amendment rights, at taxpayer expense, on behalf of a private organization. The question which begs asking is, would organizations like MAIG, the Brady Campaign, and the Violence Policy Center idly sit by if the NRA or Florida Carry similarly placed operatives in local governments with the objective of using the guise of a government sanctioned office to promote a pro-gun rights agenda? We think not.
For more information on this expose, please see Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna’s personal blog at www.allnineyards.com