The number of members in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition has dropped nearly 15 percent over the past year, according to a report by the Washington Examiner
The overall number of mayors supporting the organization has declined from a peak of 1,046 at the end of 2012 to the current 885 today.
The group was founded in April 2006 by then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with just 15 original members.
These numbers have seen a few dramatic defections in recent weeks including one from the mayor of Poughkeepsie, New York. In an op-ed published by Mayor John Tkazyik in the local paper, he claims that not only himself but also ‘nearly 50 pro-Second Amendment mayors have left the organization’.
“It did not take long to realize that MAIG’s agenda was much more than ridding felons of illegal guns; that under the guise of helping mayors facing a crime and drug epidemic, MAIG intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens,” wrote Tkazyik.
Other mayors, like recently convicted James Schiliro, formerly the elected head of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, have left the organization for other reasons.
A representative for MAIG explained that the drop in the group’s numbers has an easy explanation, saying, “Just the natural course of events that mayors leave and join our coalition based on the electoral cycle.”
An example of this was when New York City itself was taken off the list of MAIG members after Mayor Bloomberg left office. However, it was soon re-listed once new mayor Bill deBlasio joined the group.
Joining the alliance is as easy as downloading a one-page pdf application, then emailing a scanned copy back to the organization.
Leaving the organization may be a more trying process.
As noted in speech in front of the Rockford Tea Party last summer, Rockford, Illinois, mayor Larry Morrissey left the group but his name remained listed on their website for some time.
The number of mayors in the United States is a moving target as not all of the more than 19,000 towns and cities in the country have one of these offices. The U.S. Conference of Mayors lists some 8,200 currently sitting mayoral members in their database. If this lower figure is taken as a baseline, then the current membership in MAIG can be surmised to around 10 percent of the mayors in the nation.
However, some point out that even the 885 mayors currently listed as supporting MAIG could be artificially inflated.
“We have spoken with mayors who didn’t even know they were listed as members [of MAIG]” said Larry G. Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel, in a statement to Guns.com.
Keane continued, “You can only camouflage the truth for so long. Over time MAIG will join the long list of other failed gun control groups like Americans for Gun Safety (AGS), Million Mom March, American Hunters & Shooters Association (ASHA), to name but a few.”
“This trend will continue as more mayors who were duped into joining come to realize the true antigun goals of this organization that is funded chiefly by the personal fortune of Michael Bloomberg,” concluded Keane.