By Larry Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation
Minnesota Public Radio reports that Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis has said that he and 60 other mayors are considering boycotts of gun makers who don’t agree to their sweeping list of gun control demands. Taking a page from the Rahm Emanuel playbook, the mayors intend to use their police department purchasing power as leverage.
This is a re-hash of the Clinton Administration threat, spearheaded by then-HUD Secretary and now governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, to do the same with federal agencies. Despite a successful court action by NSSF to counter the threat at the time, the idea was kicked up again in 2010 by disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who suggested that gun makers must cease and desist the sale of ALL semi-automatic firearms to escape this punishment.
Choosing a service sidearm for police agencies is serious business. Law enforcement procurement officers will be less than pleased to learn that their political overseers seem to want them to go back to revolvers in order to make a point in the gun control debate. In Minneapolis, the deputy chief said “ultimately, it is the chiefs decision what gun is going to be authorized for use by the department,” but the city attorney countered by saying “the city can always set reasonable specifications for the purchases it’s making.”
Mayor Rybak said he mentioned the idea to Barack Obama during a recent visit, and “Obama and his staff were delighted by the idea.”
By no coincidence, Obama is visiting Minneapolis on Monday, February 4th, for the first of a lengthy series of campaign-style gun control pep rallies. Perhaps the mayor and the White House plan to try out the idea that very day, telling both the Secret Service and local law enforcement to turn in their semi-automatic pistols and carry only .38 snubnoses for event security.
If so, it’s safe to predict that “delight” is not the response they will receive.