According to the Mayor’s office, the NRA refused to pay additional fees for the security, so police protection was pulled from an NRA gun show. At first, it sounds like the NRA was greedy and wanted the police to provide security for their gun event for free. The Washington Free Beacon provided the other side of the story:
“We have an epidemic of gun violence,” [Harrisburg Mayor] Papenfuse told WHTM. “It’s no secret that the NRA has worked against the city’s interests repeatedly over the past year causing us to spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend common sense gun ordinances. We don’t need to be doing them any favors.”
An NRA spokesman said that despite payments of $600,000 directly to the city since 2014, the mayor wanted the gun rights group to pay additional fees in order to obtain police protection for the show.
“Unfortunately, demands were made by the mayor for the 2016 show that included a 60 percent increase in fees to [the police department] to work the show and a requirement of a $50,000 grant for five years to the city,” Jeremy Greene, an NRA spokesman, said in a statement. “This offer was presented as all or nothing. If we did not accept, the mayor would pull [police] support.”
Greene said that the NRA offered to increase its donation to the city in exchange for police patrols of the show but the mayor’s office wasn’t satisfied by the amount offered. “We are disappointed our more than generous offer was declined, but we are mostly disappointed that the officers we have worked with the last two years will be the ones most hurt,” he said.
The NRA had already been forking over a good amount of money, and the mayor wanted a lot more. They rejected the NRA’s proposition of increasing their donation amount, and so the mayor completely pulled the plug on them. Sounds like politics got in the way.
But the mayor’s communication director Joyce Davis said that the mayor’s decision to pull police protection for the NRA’s event was not political in any way: “It is not a question of politics, it is a question of saving our children. We care about them, the NRA may not.”
Oh brother. It’s “about the children.”
Of course, I’m not actually worried that anything will happen at the NRA event. When’s the last time you heard about a mass shooting at a gun show?
The NRA wants to be on the extra safe side though. Their gun show will proceed, and they’ll be using other local police departments for security.