NRA Threatening Pittsburgh

The NRA Annual Meeting, which draws upwards of 70,000+ people every year, is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh in 2011.  Looks like NRA is threatning to pull the convention out of Pittsburgh if they continue with their threat to ban assault weapons.  As much as it would pain me, since I can easily drive to Pittsburgh, pulling the meeting is the right thing to do if Pittsburgh wants to continue demonstrating they have no respect for gun owners, or for state law.

The more I find out about the ordinance, the less I understand the need for it.  If a police officer orders you to disperse, and the order is lawful, it doesn’t matter what you’re in possession of.

25 thoughts on “NRA Threatening Pittsburgh”

  1. Excuse me, Sir… ‘threaten’ is the correct spelling. Unless you’re deliberately intending a misspelling for extra snark?

    Again, this is not a dig against your content.

  2. To continue the snark …

    It’s my understanding that assault weapons currently are banned by the fed gov.

  3. Assault weapons are not banned by the feds. Assault rifles are very closely regulated by the feds. Assault rifles are select fire. Assault weapons are what ever a politician whats to call an assault weapon. Generally a semiautomatic variation of a an assault rifle.

  4. Sebastian,

    I can see why you’re having trouble with the defunct ordinance, since to me it seems to be intent-based. From your previously linked article:

    “no person shall possess” an array of items including 37 “contraband” weapons listed in the ban, “for the purpose of defeating lawful removal” by police

    So if your purpose for ‘possessing’ said weapon isn’t ‘for the purpose of defeating lawful removal’ then what’s the problem?

    I’ll be watching to see what happens!

  5. The Packetman Said, August 29th, 2009 at 9:12 pm
    So if your purpose for ‘possessing’ said weapon isn’t ‘for the purpose of defeating lawful removal’ then what’s the problem?

    Because the police have the authority to remove persons lawfully, under various circumstances. Because resisting police is unlawful, regardless of gun bans. In effect, this is a gun ban — it’s redundant and unnecessary. The purpose a priori is to prohibit the bearing of arms. I am not Sebastian, but that is why I would oppose such a measure on the part of any municipal government.

  6. Sebastian and Carl,

    That was my point, though I probably made it badly. If the reason you have an evil weapon is *not* to defeat *lawful* removal, then there should be no problem with your having it, right?

    As you point out, that’s not how it will all shake out ….. it is a gun ban.

    And if you’re not talking to lawyers, try not to use lawyer-terms like ‘a priori’ :-)

  7. Packetman, sorry I misunderstood your point. Consider this an a posteriori apology!

  8. Carl: I have to make those apologies all the time, usually after I’ve made an ass of myself. ;)

  9. If the NRA is so concerned about one law in Pittsburgh, I can’t understand their decision to hold the 2010 meeting in Charlotte. North Carolina, While a shall issue state, NC so restricts gun owners, it’s certainly not firearms friendly. These include the prohibition of CCW in financial institutions, so a businessman can’t carry while making bank deposits, no restaurant/alcohol served carry, any assembly where a fee for admission is charged, precluding most games, shows, etc. Also, in order to legally acquire a handgun, including non-commercial transactions, a permit from the county sheriff must first be obtained, and a watered down version of the Castle Doctrine is being stalled in committee, even with the Castle Doctrine being one of the NRA’s “hot topics”, as well as their support of Katrina Bills which are the opposite of NC laws concerning carry during declared emergencies. Open carry, while not expressly illegal, is effectively negated by the states Common Law, Going Armed to the Terror of the People, since the NC Supreme Court has held all guns are considered unusual and dangerous weapons.
    So why would the NRA decide to reward this city and state by bring thousands of people and millions of dollars in business by holding the next meeting there, and threaten Pittsburgh over the 2011 meeting. Could it be that 2011 is so far off, they can get the publicity now, and then let the topic die a quiet death?

  10. That’s a damned good question Harvey. I don’t understand why they wanted to hold a convention in the California of the South either.

  11. When holding a convention in Pennsylvania, why does the NRA even consider either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh as sites? There are adequate venues outside the borders of either anti-gun sinkhole that are, if anything, easier to get to, park, etc.

  12. There’s not all that many cities that can handle a 70,000+ person convention. Last time the Annual Meeting was in Pittsburgh, restaurants were running out of food. So I think they are taking a bit of risk having it there. Of all the cities it’s been in, Phoenix this year was probably most accommodating. Louisville isn’t bad either. St. Louis was OK, but banned guns in their convention center.

    The site selection committee likes to move it around the country, so members have an opportunity to attend, but the bigger it gets, the harder it is to find venues, so you have to compromise a little.

    1. What are these adequate locations, Jessup? I’d love to hear the suggestions since many of the sites away from major urban areas can’t even accommodate a 3,000 person event.

      Remember, 70,000 people, 1 banquet hall for 5,000+, 1 meeting room for ~2,000, 1 exhibit hall that’s at least 5.5 acres if you like walking shoulder-to-shoulder with all of those other NRA members, 1 room about 500 or so, at least 4 side rooms for 300+, and another 6 or so swing spaces that can hold at least 150. And that’s just for the member activities! Then you need to factor in the board activities for the days leading up to the event and the days after. That’s a main meeting room for about 250 (really only about 150 in the room, but you need ample space for set up), probably a minimum of 4 extra rooms for committee meetings (usually a space for about 65 works for set up), and then room for an office area that, in event planning purposes, should be able to hold about 75 seated.

      And don’t even get me started on the hotel needs. And the factor of how many NRA members are in driving distance. These are the things that must be considered when planning any event, especially something so large.

  13. Well, using my deficient google-fu, just in my neck of the woods there is the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia International Convention Center, both in Atlanta.

    I believe Jessups point is that there are venues other than Pittsburgh. If the NRA convention is such a big deal, why don’t they use the power of the firearms dollar to – wait for it – reward states for being on the right side of the firearms rights issue? Because I’ll bet that the facilities that can cater to a gathering that large have a large group of people that do nothing but try to get business …….. even he NRAs.

  14. Packetman:

    NRA does play that game. They played this game with Columbus not too long ago, and they passed their assault weapons ban anyway. The end result was getting the convention pulled, and having it moved to St. Louis.

    But the Columbus problem was eventually preempted. By the same token, AZ tried to get its restaurant problem fixed, but Napolitano got in the way. It didn’t pass in time for the convention, but it passed. Either way, AZ bent over backward to accommodate people wanting to carry at the Annual Meeting.

  15. Bitter:

    Well, you probably got me on the numbers. But, I was thinking that King of Prussia (outside Philadelphia) probably had adequate facilities. But I don’t know, because I’m really not the conventioneering type. Actually, you could have fooled me, that even the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philly had the capacity to handle 70,000 — if they were to be there all at one time.

    I guess my greater (and less specific) point is, if you were to take a compass and draw a 100 mile radius circle around either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, I would be shocked if there weren’t facilities to handle the NRA Convention. (How’s about Atlantic City, even if it is in the Peoples’ State?) I for one would be more inclined to accept a little hardship to attend, if it was explained to me that the reason was to avoid rewarding anti-gun municipalities. A little display of militancy and having a pair might go a long way.

    1. As someone who has planned events, I’ve had to research venues before. While I haven’t personally planned one nearly as large as NRA’s convention, I have used many of the tools out there to do basic searches on capacity. I can assure you that there is nothing in the suburbs that could handle the convention. In fact, Philly’s facilities cannot hold the convention anymore. Much like SHOT Show only fits in a few venues around the country because it is now among the largest trade shows, so does NRA.

      I’m also fairly sure that AC doesn’t even have the space required. I’m not aware of any of the hotels with a 6 acre facility, much less all of the mandatory attached rooms. (Also, please explain how it makes one iota of sense to punish Pittsburgh for a law that would be thrown out in the courts, but reward New Jersey which is so extremely anti-gun with courts that say their gun laws are extreme while upholding most of them. I also wouldn’t mind seeing in the explanation your suggestions for how the exhibitors will get around the Garden State’s gun laws to actually showcase their wares. This ought to be good.) However, I would like to know what facility you believe has 6 acres of one room in King of Prussia. Since you’re bold enough to name a particular region, I’m sure you have specifics in mind. (If you’re going to keep making these claims that facilities exist, I’m going to ask you to name them. Back it up with facts, not assumptions based on nothing. I won’t beat you on numbers, I’m only asking that you name these mythical places you imagine.)

      Somehow I get the impression you have not attended an NRA convention in recent times to actually witness and understand the needs of a convention of that size. Many cities simply cannot handle it, and Pittsburgh just happens to be one of the few in the country that can. They made a very unwise investment in a massive convention facility, a decision that works out well for NRA since a) they can fit everything, and b) they beg and plead for the business. I’ve done posts about the issue in the past, and I suspect that with this threat, their local convention officers are on the phones begging City Council not to pass this ban. Local economy aside, they desperately need NRA’s convention business in order to attract others. Being one of the few cities that can juggle as many events as NRA sponsors at once facility is a huge bragging point in attracting new conventions, and they can’t afford to have NRA back out after only one visit to the city. This threat does carry weight, and NRA has been forceful enough to hold true to their threats on this before. In fact, when it happened, pro-gun governors lined up to beg NRA to come to their states. I suspect we’ll see that happen again if word gets out.

    1. Carl, heh. :)

      Do you guys even have a facility that would work? I haven’t really researched Chicago, but I would assume a city of that size would. It’s the ability to hold an Exhibit Hall, Annual Meeting room, and Member Banquet space all concurrently that usually makes it hard to fit.

      That said, last year’s “other NRA” had a convention the same weekend as the gun NRA’s convention. I noticed on Twitter that there were tons of Chicago restaurant offers to “bring in your NRA convention badge & get” various deals from free dessert to 20% off. I suggested to several folks flying back to the East Coast that if they had a layover in Chicago to give it a try. It would have been hysterical to hear them try to say no, especially if you could show that the tweet did not designate which NRA convention badges qualify. :)

  16. I seem to recall that Chicago could host an NRA Annual Meeting, but obviously that’s not going to happen for reasons other than convention center space and hotel capacity.

  17. Bring the meeting to Cincinnati. Just to rub it in the face of Columbus.

    1. It appears the facilities are too small, MSJ. Unless there’s somewhere other than the Duke Energy Convention Center to house it. If there isn’t, then Louisville will be as close as it comes.

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