Gun Groups Boycott NY After Mayor Bashes NRA

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

( - Two gun rights groups have canceled plans to hold their annual conference in New York City, citing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's denunciation of the National Rifle Association as "reprehensible."

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) announced Monday that they will take their 2005 Gun Rights Policy Conference somewhere else.

The conference, which provides over $500,000 in revenue to hotels, restaurants and other businesses, draws hundreds of attendees over a three-day period.

"Mayor Bloomberg's low opinion about the NRA, as reported in the current issue of New York Magazine, is an insult to all firearms civil rights organizations," said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb.

"If that's what the mayor thinks, we'll hold our conference in a city that is safer, and more hospitable to citizens who support all civil rights, including the right to own firearms and to hold opinions that Bloomberg finds so disagreeable," Gottlieb added.

The Republic National Committee plans to hold its national convention in New York on Aug. 30-Sept. 3. City Councilwoman Gale Brewer plans to introduce a resolution calling on the RNC to denounce the NRA.

The controversy surrounding the NRA is due in part to a website created by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence that compiles quotes made by NRA leaders. Brewer is also opposed to the NRA's policy goals.

"It's a shame," said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, "that the RNC couldn't relocate its convention, too. I'm certain there are many Republican delegates headed to New York who firmly believe in the Second Amendment and in the goals of those organizations that defend firearms owners' rights on a daily basis."

"Given the apparent atmosphere of social bigotry that seems to exist in the New York mayor's office and council chambers," Gottlieb said, "we simply have no choice but to find another location for our 2005 conference. The annual GRPC is attended by NRA officials and devoted NRA members, and we consider an insult to them to also be an insult directed at us, as well.

"We will make every effort to advise the hundreds of thousands of our members and supporters about this affront to their beliefs, and encourage them to spend their vacation time, and their money, in more friendly surroundings," he concluded.

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