Anti-Gun Mayors Spend Big On Taxpayer-Funded Personal Security

AP Photo/John Minchillo

One of the most annoying attributes of many anti-gun celebrities and politicians is the insistence that you and I give up our right to defend ourselves while they have armed personal protection watching over them. If you can afford armed security (or if you can just use taxpayer dollars), you can be protected with a gun. If your bank account doesn’t allow for that, however, you’re on your own.

This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means, but thanks to a new report from Forbes, we have a much better idea of just how much money is being spent to protect mayors who don’t want residents to be able to protect themselves. Forbes’ examination is based on mayors who approved defunding police and not specifically politicians who promote gun control, but despite the inherent contradiction between defunding law enforcement and wanting more gun control laws, it turns out that many of the mayors who’ve embraced smaller budgets for police departments while availing themselves of security details are also fully on board with new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

Chicago, Illinois

The city spent $17.3 million between 2015 and 2020 to guard “unnamed city officials.” That’s as Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she’s opposed to defunding police while – we found – 400 police officers positions were quietly cut during 2020.

Security detail cost peaked in 2020 – up $700,000 over five years: $2.7 million spent on 16 officers (2015); $2.9 million for 16 officers (2016); $2.7 million for 20 officers (2017); $2.8 million for 16 officers (2018); $2.8 million for 17 officers (2019); and $3.4 million for 22 officers (2020) – an all-time high.

Four hundred fewer police officers in Chicago, while the size of Lightfoot’s security detail increased by more than 20-percent. Meanwhile, Chicago residents who’d like to obtain a concealed carry license are forced to wait for months on end for the Illinois State Police to process their application.

San Francisco, California

The city spent $12.4 million between 2015 and 2020 to protect the mayor, London Breed. That’s as San Francisco officials promised to divest $120 million from police over two years and reallocate the money into health programs and workforce training.

The mayor’s police security detail cost spiked nearly $1 million over the past five-years.

The police department wouldn’t say how many officers were assigned. However, the city spent $1.7 million (2015); $417,489 (2016); $2.5 million (2017); $2.7 million (2018); $2.5 million (2019); and $2.6 million in 2020.

San Francisco’s crime is out of control and its quality of life is declining dramatically, but Mayor Breed doesn’t have to worry about any of that impacting her personally thanks to her security squad. Of course, since San Francisco County has only issued a handful of carry permits, residents most certainly do have to deal with the results of Breed’s failing public safety strategy, which helps to explain why the city’s losing population.

New York City, New York

The city slashed $1 billion from its $6 billion police budget in 2021, reallocating $354 million to mental health, homelessness and education services. The cuts mostly haven’t yet materialized.

That’s while Mayor Bill de Blasio sports a NYPD security detail. However, the NYPD has not yet responded to our open records request with more detailed cost information.

While de Blasio traveled the country during his failed 2020 presidential campaign, his police detail reportedly cost taxpayers $358,000. His wife and son also have security details, while his daughter canceled her protection a few years ago.

So not only does the mayor have his own bodyguards, but his family’s protected by taxpayer-funded security details as well. What, was the process of getting a carry license in New York too much of a burden for Chirlane McCray and Dante de Blasio?

Baltimore, Maryland

The city spent $3.6 million in 2020 for 14 police to cover the Mayor, Brendon Scott; the States Attorney, Marilyn Mosby; and the Police Commissioner, Michael Harrison. Yet, Baltimore has eliminated about $22 million from its police budget. This story first aired on Fox Baltimore.

Protection for the mayor included six officers and one sergeant, costing almost $2 million.

The state’s attorney has three officers and one sergeant, costing $1.3 million. The police commissioner’s security detail included two officers and one sergeant, costing $464,948.

Baltimore has had six straight years of more than 300 homicides (and is on pace to make it seven years in a row), but thanks to Maryland’s restrictive “may issue” carry laws, the average resident cannot legally carry a firearm in self-defense on city streets. Meanwhile, a number of top officials are protected by armed police officers; cops who could probably make a much bigger impact on the city’s crime rate if they weren’t attached to the hip of the mayor, state’s attorney, and police commissioner.

The hypocrisy displayed by these mayors is nothing new, but given the rise in crime and the calls from these mayors to both strip millions from police budgets and impose new restrictions on legal gun owners, it’s still important to call them out. These mayors have demonstrated that they don’t have a problem with guns as self-defense tools, at least when it comes to their own safety. When it comes to you protecting yourself and your family with a firearm, on the other hand, these mayors would prefer you disarmed and defenseless.