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Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver faces criticism from Georgia Gun Owners Inc.

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A national coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which includes Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, is facing criticism from a Georgia gun advocacy group.

Copenhaver  FILE/STAFF

In an e-mail, the nonprofit Georgia Gun Owners Inc. blasts the group and says the 12 mayors in Georgia who are part of the group are “actively scheming in Georgia to greatly curtail our rights.”

In an e-mailed response to The Augusta Chronicle, Copenhaver said he’s been a hunter his entire life and a gun owner, “so to say that I’m anti-gun would seem to me to be completely misleading, but they didn’t bother to call me to discuss the matter.”

Copenhaver also said the mass e-mail sent out to gun owners around the state asks for donations several times.

“I guess their stance would mean that they are taking a position of advocating for illegal guns, which doesn’t make much sense to me,” he said.

In the e-mail from the Georgia gun group, Political Director D.R. Leonard said the coalition’s name is “deceitful” and that it’s clear the purpose is to “make guns illegal, period.”

A message from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino on the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Web site says that “we all agree on the goal: protecting the rights of Americans to own guns, while fighting to keep criminals from possessing guns illegally.”

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said Thursday that typically it’s not the people who lawfully possess guns that give law enforcement trouble but criminals who acquire weapons on the street or through straw purchases.

“That’s who we have a problem with,” he said.

In response to a request for comment, Leonard called for Copen­haver’s resignation from the group and said “the members and supporters of Georgia Gun Owners have a responsibility – to bring to light anti-gun associations and positions of elected officials in our state.”

Copenhaver said Leonard is “purposely forwarding misinformation regarding me personally and I don’t believe that his letter deserves a response.”

Statement from Georgia Gun Owners political director D.R. Leonard

"Mayor Copenhaver has aligned himself with one of the most anti-gun groups in the country -- MAIG.  They frequently hold press conferences on Capitol Hill in Washington with the most anti-gun members of the Congress who introduce bills which pose a danger to the rights of gun owners.  MAIG has recently attacked "Stand Your Ground" laws, including Georgia's.  They have also supported nationwide gun owner databases.  Anti-gun Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago is a member as well as the anti-gun mayors of Washington, DC, New York City, New Orleans, Atlanta and scores of others.  The members and supporters of Georgia Gun Owners have a responsibility -- to bring to light anti-gun associations and positions of elected officials in our state.  We have done so with Mayor Copenhaver and the 11 other members of the anti-gun MAIG group.  We call on all of those mayors, including Mayor Copenhaver, to resign from MAIG as soon as possible."

E-mail concerning Deke Copenhaver from Georgia Gun Owners

Last week, I informed you that 12 Georgia mayors were members of a dangerous anti-gun group, MAIG, funded by billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

This anti-gun group has openly attacked "Stand Your Ground" laws, frequently appears with anti-gun members of Congress in Washington, has run "stings" at gun shows (their goal is to END private sales), calls Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel a member and has openly supported a strict national gun owner database.

One of these Georgia mayors, Deke Copenhaver of Augusta, caught wind of our email and responded to a supporter of Georgia Gun Owners by defending his association with the group.

He even said that folks should "look into" Georgia Gun Owners.

Well, Mayor Copenhaver, we'd be happy to tell you about our group -- we're more than 20,000 members and supporters strong and our job is to call out elected officials in our state who have openly aligned with anti-gun groups and positions.

If you do one thing for gun rights in Georgia today, please call Mayor Deke Copenhaver at once.


Tell him you don't agree with his association with one of the most left-wing, anti-gun organizations in the country and that you are calling on him to resign from MAIG immediately.

Georgia Gun Owners doesn't exist to kiss the backside of politicians . . . we exist to attempt to make them do what is right.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver is wrong to align himself with one of the most hostile organizations to gun owners in this country.

If you agree with Georgia Gun Owners, please make your call at once.

For liberty,

D.R. Leonard
Political Director
Georgia Gun Owners

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Insider Information
Insider Information 05/31/12 - 09:44 pm

Uh oh....controversy. Run, Deke, run.

Gas up the car, ditch the cell phone and make a run for the beach house.

JohnBrownAug 05/31/12 - 10:04 pm
The problem is talk of "legal

The problem is talk of "legal gun owners" is deceiving and the group knows that. That's the complaint against Copenhaver. We all have an inherent right to have a gun or guns unless you are a felon according to the Constitution.

It would have been better to have said you are for all citizens' rights to own weapons and left it at that. The comment was shotgunned at the population as a whole when the actual target was tiny enough for a .22.

countyman 05/31/12 - 10:44 pm
The mayor of Augusta is

The mayor of Augusta is clearly anti-progress, and not anti-gun at all... That's why he won two straight elections with over 60% of the vote... The $172 million Starbucks deal, $115 million Rockwood, Rural Sourcing, Village at Riverwatch, Wheeler Town Park, the first Walmart neighborhood market, etc... The mayor had a huge role in helping both ADP, and the Kroc Center open in Augusta($140 million investment & 1,110 jobs)..

Even if you don't agree with the multi-use complex on the riverfront... Who brought this prime piece of real estate back into land the discussion?? The property was just sitting there growing weeds under the state of Georgia... The mayor may get some slack from the usual suspects, but their opinions clearly don't represent the majority of Augustans...

shotgun 06/01/12 - 05:02 am
Mayor Deke is right for joining MAIG

Mayors Against ILLEGAL Guns (MAIG) is about keeping lunatics from acquiring illegal guns and going on shooting sprees."Georgia Gun Owners Inc." can whine all they want,they're wrong.

JohnBrownAug 06/01/12 - 10:00 am
The NRA has mounted an

The NRA has mounted an extensive campaign against MAIG. From the NRA website:

"Mayors Against Illegal Guns is now coming out against the millions of Americans who are legally exercising their Right to Carry. The group is advocating against HR 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, which has nearly 250 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. This simple bill would provide a framework of national reciprocity so Right to Carry holders could exercise their Second Amendment rights no matter where they are."

So Mayor Copenhaver, are you against HR 822 as your group led by New York City Mayor Bloomberg is?

JohnBrownAug 06/01/12 - 10:28 am
Mayor Copenhaver says he

Mayor Copenhaver says he hunts. I wonder what kind of hunting he does? What has he killed?

omnomnom 06/01/12 - 10:46 am
Deke goes snipe hunting. When

Deke goes snipe hunting. When he's not wild goose chasing anyway. Looking for the pot of gold at the end of the home run line. Ask me to see a mixed use facility and I'll show you the golf and gardens as it currently sits. Just axe the bums, they do a variety of activities in there I'm sure.

toldyaso 06/01/12 - 11:29 am
I would strongly encourage

I would strongly encourage mayor Copenhaver to reevaluate his association with this anti-gun group headed up by one of the most anti 2nd amendment politicians in the country. There is more to their agenda than just keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. If you want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, go after the ones who are selling them to them, and make the penalty for selling guns to felons or underage people a real deterrent. This group headed by N.Y. City Mayer Bloomberg's true agenda is gun control, period. There are many suits filed already in N.Y. and Chicago directly related to those city's anti 2nd amendment gun control ordinances and rules. Definitely not the type of group that I would want the Mayor of Augusta associated with. This is a deal breaker for me.

Iwannakno 06/01/12 - 11:59 pm
What does countyman's drivel

What does countyman's drivel have to do with this article? Why is he allowed to constantly post this crap on every article without being warned? Come on AC enforce your rules fairly!!

Frank I
Frank I 07/30/13 - 10:36 am

what say you now Mr. Copenhaver?

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