Loudoun Republicans oppose Mayors Against Illegal Guns
The Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) this week announced it passed a resolution opposing the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). Included within the resolution was a call for all mayors in Loudoun County to steer clear of the organization's membership.
This comes after the Times-Mirror reported in January that Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro had signed on with MAIG, a bipartisan group of more than 800 mayors calling on Congress to pass laws requiring every gun buyer in the U.S. to pass a criminal background check; make gun trafficking a federal crime; and ban military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
The local GOP committee's resolution specifically presses Lazaro to leave MAIG, which was co-founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
Back to the question: If the LCRC isn't against illegal guns, are they for illegal guns?
LCRC Chairman Mark Sell said that's not the case. Sell told the Times-Mirror MAIG's name is a misnomer.
“It would be more accurate to be named 'Mayors Against All Guns,'” Sell said. “As the resolution states, by its actions and policy proposals, MAIG is an organization that opposes the fundamental right and Constitutionally protected freedom of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes."
While the LCRC adopted the resolution Jan. 28, it opted to advertise the move with a press release Feb. 25.
A statement from the co-chairs of MAIG contradicts the LCRC viewpoint. Bloomberg and Menino say: “We support the Second Amendment and the rights of citizens to own guns. We recognize that the vast majority of gun dealers and gun owners carefully follow the law.”
Lazaro, elected in a nonpartisan election, responded to the LCRC call for his resignation from MAIG by saying he doesn't take orders from any political party organization. Lazaro said he represents the people of Purcellville, who've showed him widespread support.
Speaking of LCRC, Lazaro said the group tries to censure anyone they disagree with, including Gov. Bob McDonnell.
“It's funny the party of individual liberty and freedom chooses to censure any one person they disagree with,” Lazaro said.
Lazaro joined MAIG in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
“As a father and as an uncle, signing on to this was a no-brainer,” Lazaro said in early January.
The LCRC resolution points out that Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd and Hamilton Mayor Greg Wilmoth declined to join MAIG.
In January Umstattd said MAIG didn't get to the core issue of gun violence.
“Sadly missing from the MAIG action plan is any mention of the need to enhance security in our schools and how we will pay for that,” Umstattd said. “The NRA has immense fundraising abilities and needs to put them to use in raising money for school systems that need to upgrade their security. As a Life Member of the NRA, I would hope that the organization will take school security as seriously as it takes political campaigns.”