Ft Lauderdale Candidate’s Tough Anti-Gun Message: Ban Gun Shows In City Auditorium





Dean Trantalis has added a strong gun control message to his slow-growth campaign for Fort Lauderdale mayor in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High slaughter.

Trantalis always supported tougher gun laws.  But with the school shooting, Trantalis started talking about the need for Fort Lauderdale to have an outspoken pro-gun control mayor.

A first step:  He told a fundraiser this weekend that a goal as mayor would be to stop regular gun shows at the city-owned War Memorial Auditorium.

Still numbed by last Wednesday’s murderous assault at the Parkland school, campaign donors enthusiastically applauded his remarks.


Dean Trantalis speaking about the need for gun control at his fundraiser at former Property Appraiser Lori Parrish’s home. Listening to his message are some of his supporters. That’s Democratic U. S. Rep. Alcee Hastings with the colorful shirt and white beard. To Hastings’ left with her arms crossed is former County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman.  Standing to Hastings’ right is former Florida Senate President Jim Scott.    


State law forbids the city from enacting its own laws restricting guns, but Trantalis said there is nothing forcing the city to rent its auditorium to a gun show.

“It is something we can do…we can make a statement,” he said.

Trantalis has been pushing for over a year to an end to the shows, which have been held in War Memorial Auditorium for three decades.

After the massacre of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, Trantalis said he was particularly upset that assault weapons were being sold at the Fort Lauderdale Gun Show just yards away from where children play in Holiday Park. Assault weapons were used in the Pulse and Marjory Stoneman Douglas attacks.

As a city commissioner, Trantalis was unable to get the shows ended. As mayor and with the gun show lease expiring in the summer, Trantalis hopes he can have better luck.

After this article was posted, outgoing Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler asked Morgan Waters, manager of the Fort Lauderdale Gun Show, to cancel the gun show scheduled for March 17 and 18. Waters agreed, but wrote Seiler that the gun show is “not waving any of its rights, including those concerning future events.”

The controversy over the shows will continue after Seiler leaves office in March.


Fight Against Guns Pays Off


Trantalis’ outspoken stance for gun control has already paid off in his campaign.

City activist and real estate investor Abby Laughlin on Monday endorsed Trantalis because of his strong stance on gun control, according to Sun-Sentinel reporter Brittany Wallman. Laughlin had earlier supported Trantalis’ opponent Bruce Roberts.

Meanwhile, rumors continue to circulate throughout Fort Lauderdale’s political world that Roberts’ campaign is on life support after his second-place finish 15 percentage points behind Trantalis in the primary.

One tip off of trouble in the Roberts campaign: Campaign strategist Judy Stern has faded deep into the background. Stern’s role was criticized because she was a lobbyist for developers in addition to running the campaign.

When your chief campaign tactician and manager largely disappears from public association with the campaign less than a month before the March 13 election, something is not right.

In mid-January after the primary, Stern was asked about the rumors of her departure from the Roberts campaign.

“It’s not happening,” she texted.

Last week, Stern was asked the same question.

She did not return the text for comment.


32 Responses to “Ft Lauderdale Candidate’s Tough Anti-Gun Message: Ban Gun Shows In City Auditorium”

  1. My Vote Counts says:

    Even if there are things people disagree with about Dean, he stands strong to his convictions.

    Of course the other side is going to paint a bad guy. Maybe not send out multiple fliers in a short period of time, but at the end of the day when you look at who is for the people and who is only for the people because they’re losing their job, you know where your vote has to go.

    There is no longer a place for special interest only people. Dean will be the next Mayor of Fort Lauderale

  2. Enough already says:

    Roberts will celebrate his 70th b-day March 1. Most “retired with pensions” guys would go enjoy life with the family, travel, etc. doing it all on the tax payer funded pensions he earned. Have to wonder what he out to prove by running the city further into the ground after 9 years on the dais and less than wise and prudent votes along with his two comrades. Trantalis will get three years to test his leadership and if he and the other 4 on the dais fall short, they will be gone and a new slate will be elected. mickinzie was appointed after dubose headed to Tally so just wondering how soon he is term limited. The citizens of District 3 deserve better, just not sure why they don’t care.

  3. Life in the fast lane says:

    You are wrong about Roberts campaign slowing down. Why he is having a big Fundraiser this week at the Ferrari dealership on US1 and I hear all the developers will be in attendance sporting some pretty big checks!

  4. Dumb move says:

    I think it’s pretty funny that Stern via Bruce has been bashing Dean on social media for his involvment in the “waves project”. Most of the comments think Bruce is referring to the The Wave train project when in fact Bruce/Stern are talking about an ancient condo project from a decade ago that had financial problems during the recession that had nothing to with Dean.

  5. Stern can still pull it out says:

    Stern was guiding Bruce through the crowd at the FOP dinner on Saturday and has been pushing hard to raise money for the campaign. Give her credit, she could have very easily bailed on Bruce, but she stayed loyal. Bruce is a lackluster candidate, no one can blame her for that. Don’t count her out. Fort Lauderdale blacks and Republicans do not want a liberal, gay mayor.

  6. Abby Laughlin says:

    This isn’t a pay off for Dean’s campaign. This is about an activist making a strong statement about gun control and I’ll do it any way I can. I’m calling Dean to task to put his money where his mouth is – get something done. Get it done. Let’s see what happens tomorrow at City Commission. I can easily switch back, if I don’t see any action from Dean. Bruce is a very good man, his campaign is determined and focused.

  7. BREC Member says:

    I see that the Democrat Party is making calls and doing other GOtV efforts for Dean. I asked at the last NREC meeting if we would do anything for Roberts and was told no because he left the party. I have known Bruce for years and I know he is a true conservative at heart. I understand BREC’position of not expending effort for a non republican who recently left the party. Leaving the Republican party was probably the worst advice Stern gave Roberts besides having him vote for her client on Bahia Mar.

  8. john Eastman says:

    birds of a feather!

  9. Annnie says:

    At Steve Glassman’s Progresso Village meet and greet this past Sunday, we heard almost exactly the same words from Steve as Dean told his gathering about the gun shows in Holiday Park. We need both of these candidates to prevail on March 13 and maybe they can pick up one more vote to end the renting of the Auditorium. I was impressed by what Steve, a former teacher, wrote on his campaign FB page after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas ; it was indeed heartfelt.

  10. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Of course Judy Stern would state she was and is going nowhere.If Roberts loses and going over the tabulations your right doesn.t look good for Roberts.Although i have some issues with Comm.Trantalis it looks like he is our next mayor.I have been saying for months if he loses he blames Stern.Lobbyist and running a mayoral campaign one would ask what were u thinking Judy..

  11. John Henry says:

    Oh the fake outrage!!!!

    What will this guy do to address the gun violence in the 33311 area? A man was gunned down at a gas station last week. Wonder if the gun was bought at the gun show?????

  12. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #5.I have been thinking the same sentiment.It all depends on how big the turn out is next month.To the other comment why would Judy Stern jet on Roberts now.She goes nowhere until March 13.By the way win or lose for Roberts next month,Judy could care less.Those that think she will retire etc.think again.One tough cookie.Although. i would and will go up against her on any given day.She knows it.My sources were right also in regards to her getting a sneek preview of the early tsbs last month(yes).As far as Trantalis win or lose just no sticking up for diddlers..

  13. TMZ says:

    Can anyone confirm the new Fort Lauderdale power couple romance is Judy Stern and the Count? CountStern is the new bradgelina

  14. Public School Grandmother says:

    I’m in the more regulation camp but I think the city may have a problem with eliminating the gun shows ( hate them) because I pretty sure part of that previously mentioned state Law is you may not treat the retailers any different than any other retailers- please check that out.


    Trantalis is a lawyer. He says the law does not prohibit the city from deciding what type of businesses to lease the War Memorial Auditorium. The operative statute appear to be this one

  15. FLSunshine says:

    As one who use to be an event employee and worked the floor of many gun shows at the War Memorial, I saw things that were very disturbing. Every conceivable item you can imagine to kill, maim or torture were for sale….for sport??? Many were overheard making gun sales in private which were consummated in the parking lot. It is high time for the city to discontinue this contract. The city does not need that blood money and should look for family friendly events that would uplift the community and not ARM it! Hats off to Dean who had the guts to first suggest this even when he was ridiculed by other Commissioners who would only say, “we can’t” regulate that. Dean said “we can and we should!” That is the sign of a true leader. Steve Glassman, a former teacher for nearly 20 years also supports these efforts. This is NOT about taking people guns away, this is about the City taking a stand for healthy neighborhoods or the NRA!

  16. rightwing says:

    he’s jumping on the gun control bandwagon. wonder how he feels about the homeless, drug and alcoholism, and of course mental illness. its all there in fort Lauderdale for everyone to see.but I guess its not chic to talk about such a messy subject and all the hard work and $$$$. and i’m certain the development crowd won’t have them by their plush, new, EXPENSIVE condos.another shill posing as a concerned politician.

  17. Doug says:

    So proud of Dean. Man of conviction. Kudos!

  18. bob says:

    Dean’s been advocating the termination of the gun show lease for years. He’s also been actively involved in exploring better ways to address the homeless issue. He’s the only one on the commission who was concerned about the city’s shoddy record of maintenance and repair of our infrastructure — that is before the crap actually flowed into the roadways and there was no more denying the obvious.

    Commissioner Roberts was still mocking Dean until a couple of month ago — calling Dean’s concerns “hyperbole” while Bruce voted to add more hookups to an already overburdened system.

  19. Public school grandmother says:

    Buddy the problem is that they already allow it so to change that may be a violation of the statute

    Dean is a candidate

  20. Counting Votes says:

    Dean continues to run circles around everyone, pulling off an anti-gun resolution last night. He’s on fire.

    On another note, no one though anyone could run a worse race for Bruce than Stern, but Malkus is. Linking Rick Scott to Bruce Roberts in advertising today?

    Politics ain’t PR Chuck. Epic fail.


    Chuck Malkus’ Twitter feed on Wednesday stated this: “Both Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts & FL Gov. Rick Scott taking actions to protect children after school shooting.” Not only is it strange to link Roberts to Scott in a Democratic town, but the tweet linked to an article that didn’t mention Roberts.

    Malkus’ office is in the same East Las Olas block as Judith Stern Consulting. Hmmmmm.

  21. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Just heard that Chuck Malcus and Judy Stern although still on the Roberts campaign(she was paid ain.t no one stiffing Judy Stern) and that Malcus is calling the shots now.Will see if he makes a difference.They are using a different PAC now also.They even got Tim Smith on payroll.That was the flyer he put out bashing Steve Glassman.Speaking of Glassman.What a great campaign he is running.Very impressed..

  22. Name that tune.. says:

    Chuck who?

    Judy knows the Roberts campaign is sinking and is now trying to set up Malkus to take the blame when they lose.

  23. Broward Voter says:

    Roberts’ campaign must be running on fumes. Prior to the primary Red Broward was sending emails attacking Trantalis almost daily. But not one since the primary. If you don’t have enough money to pay Red Broward, you must be broke

  24. Jpolac says:

    We’re not paying attention. Case in point, Judge Destry. By all accounts a tough judge up for re-election in 2016. He was brutally attacked and smeared online and in the media when he threatened to put a violent young man with multiple gun charges away for 60 years “before he kills someone.” Less than 10% of the electorate voted in that election. Who ran the campaign against him? Michael Ahearn. The very same lawyer who was miraculously appointed to 9 out of 10 cases by Judge Robinson whose campaign he ran “for free.” Wake up people! Elections have consequences..

  25. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    I think in light of the events in the last week with this massacre Comm.Trantalis snd his views on gun control just got him the keys to the city.The only issue i have is he is aware of my concerns.That being stated i think Dean will prevail.As far as Malcus and Stern i think they would take money from a chimpanzee to enrich their bank acc.Money and greed.Who loses Bruce Roberts..

  26. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    To clarify in regards to Tim Smith on payroll was i meant he has a PAC on payroll.And after he emailed me asked if Glassman has a PAC and Smith inquired if Glassman is utilizing same PAC has Comm.Trantalis.To my knowledge im not aware if Glassman has a PAC on payroll.I will find out.I play fair.I sand bag no one..

  27. Charles King says:

    Pretty pathetic that “Gun Show” Jack Seiler and his 70 year old toady “Bought & Paid For” Bruce Roberts are take credit for making 1 inconveniently timed gun show disappear in the 72 they authorized on city property in a city park in my neighborhood of Victoria Park over the past 9 years. Hopefully the voters see them for the “public safety first” hypocrites that they are. As for Abby Laughlin’s supposedly principled departure from the dead man walking “Bought & Paid For” Bruce Roberts Mayoral Campaign, it’s little more than rats jumping off a sinking ship in my opinion.

  28. Blondes have more fun says:

    #26-Tiny Tim will do anything to win. He even became a blonde. Probably has some land he wants to sell to the city, like his past dirty deed, it’s always good when you can vote to sell it to yourself.

  29. Rightwinger says:

    Time to ban the Sheriff along with the gun shows. What
    An embarrassment for BSO. Step in Gov. Scott, do
    The right thing.

  30. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Speaking of guns here or should i say gun control and a majority of Florida elected Republicans and there pursuit and desire to petition that Sheriff Israel resign.I say Sheriff you were right in firing Peterson and the three or four other deputies that basically hid(yes) behind the cars etc he was 100% right and these others should b e fired as well.Its not Israel fault that these deputies were afraid etc and hid.He made sure they were properly trained.At the best and latest fire arms etc.Not his fault that they balked.He had done an amazing job supporting these students.Its about these students.Back them sheriff.What he should have done differently i would have toned it back a little at that CNN town hall.He should have been more congenial with the NRA spokeswoman.He welcomes FDLE investigation .But for him to resign no way.Republicans need to adress gun control and they don.t like Israel shoving it doqn their throat.Toooo bad…

  31. Peter A. says:

    Robert Walsh are you kidding? Do you honestly think that anyone other than Scott Peterson choked on the scene? What we see here is an absolute disaster. All kinds of stories are circulating about the orders those deputies were given upon arrival at the scene. All the truth will come out and Israel will go down in a ball of flames… Once he threw those under deputies under the bus and then Trump disparages them on national TV.. “The way they performed was frankly disgusting.”“The way they performed was really a disgrace.” it was all over.. The disgusting disgrace was the way this whole thing was handled by Scott Israel himself. He allowed his deputies to be called cowards and is refusing to be accountable for what went on there that day, the gloves came off and no one is holding back. His incompetence as a leader cost lives that day. I don’t even know how the county will begin to pay out all the lawsuits once this investigation is complete.

  32. just saying says:

    When Israel is finally shown the door by the Gov. he needs to take Runcie with him, if Scott wants to even have a chance in the senator election. The sooner the better.
    And the next School Board election the voters need to clean house. The years of entrenchment and status quo will finally end, sadly it took the deaths of 17 innocents to bring it about.

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