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Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

Targeting Pennsylvania's Mayors Against Guns

Hundreds of PAFOA members received emails this afternoon asking them to take action against gun control overreach in their own backyards.  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's largest gun control campaign is a coalition of mayors he claims support his anti-gun agenda.  His recruitment pitch assures mayors that they will not target lawful gun owners, instead his actions have called concealed carry permit holders criminals and attempted to undermine federal law enforcement investigations.

Pro-gun groups at every level have taken on this battle to educate mayors and reduce Bloomberg's political force in the states.  At PAFOA, our efforts have focused on a quiet education strategy.  However, for those mayors who have so far refused to resign from the group, it is now time to turn up the grassroots pressure that has successfully convinced others to leave.

After a thorough analysis of the Pennsylvania coalition of mayors working with Bloomberg was posted by NRA Election Volunteer Coordinators in mid-August, we worked together to create a strategy to convince MAIG mayors to resign their membership in the organization.

View Bloomberg's Anti-Gun Mayors in Pennsylvania on a map.

Looking at the map, we conducted detailed research into each of the towns and picked 15 starter cities based on the likely impact of PAFOA residents. Each PAFOA member who received an email this morning lives in a city where, if gun owners work together, they can make a difference for the Second Amendment.

In August, I sent each of the targeted mayors a letter in hopes that a simple explanation of the actions by Mayor Bloomberg in their name would inspire each of them to resign from the organization. In early September, NRA sent their members in key cities postcards calling for grassroots opposition to the members of MAIG. The response to these mailings has been tremendous. Of the original 15 mayors targeted by PAFOA, only two have resigned. Of the mayors NRA targeted in Pennsylvania, 15 have given up their membership. Here are the mayors who have parted ways with Mayor Bloomberg since that time:

  • Akron Mayor John McBeth
  • Beech Creek Mayor David E. Orr
  • Bowmanstown Mayor Keith G. Billig
  • Brackenridge Mayor Jeffrey Cowan
  • East Berlin Mayor Keith Hoffman
  • Gettysburg Mayor William Troxell
  • Harmony Mayor Cathryn H. Rape
  • Midway Mayor Karen Bartosh
  • Mount Penn Mayor Josh Nowotarski
  • North Irwin Mayor Leonard L. Santimyer
  • Slatington Mayor Walter Niedermeyer
  • Summit Hill Mayor Paul R. McArdle
  • Tower City Mayor Dale Deiter
  • Ulysses Mayor Jane Haskins
  • West Reading Mayor Shane Keller

Before this push began, former Williamsport Mayor Mary Wolf told Bloomberg in her resignation letter, "I have learned that the coalition may be working on issues which conflict with legal gun ownership, and that some actions on your behalf are dubious." Since her defection in 2007, the condemnation by mayors who felt duped has grown louder. Keith Hoffman of East Berlin said, "They swindle you in and then put your name on the list."

Many mayors around the country are now beginning to report that they knew nothing about joining the group and never recall signing any pledges to support Mayor Bloomberg's anti-gun policies. Mayors from South Dakota, Texas, and Florida have publicly confirmed that Mike Bloomberg never sought their permission when signing their names to advertisements condemning concealed carry legislation.

In Pennsylvania, the imperative the encourage mayors to leave Bloomberg's coalition is clear. In addition to Bloomberg's attacks on concealed carry reform at the federal level a disturbing trend has emerged in the state level battles. Each of the cities to pass local gun control ordinances in challenges to the state preemption laws is lead by members of MAIG. Pittsburgh's mayor, a longtime supporter of MAIG, has recently tried to breath life into a gun ban that the state Supreme Court previously struck down as illegal. Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter has been an outspoken supporter of MAIG's policies, and we don't need to remind you of all of the gun control attempts the city has made under his watch.

If you received an email from PAFOA this morning asking you to call your mayor, please act soon. There is an opportunity to make a tangible difference in your local community, cut the reach of Michael Bloomberg's gun control campaign, and stop the spread of anti-gun legislation here in Pennsylvania. The presence of that call to action in your inbox means we've crunched the numbers, and we believe you can make a difference for the Second Amendment.

If you did not receive an email, please confirm that we have your town or zip code on file. This information is what we use to analyze whether enough PAFOA members are likely to make a difference in the local battles. If you do have correct location information in your profile, keep an eye out for future calls to action.