Harrisburg, Pa., mayor, NRA butt heads over funding for outdoor show security
News broke last week that the mayor of Harrisburg, Pa., ordered his police department not to provide security for the upcoming NRA-sponsored Great American Outdoors Show after the association refused to meet a demand to pay a 60-percent increase in fees for the service.
Harrisburg police have provided security for the annual outdoor show at the State Farm Show Complex, scheduled Feb. 6-14 this year, for decades – long before the NRA bought and rescued the show three years ago.
Mayor Eric Papenfuse admitted that the decision not to offer the department’s services this year was motivated in part by the NRA’s opposition to the city’s gun control policies.
“We have an epidemic of gun violence,” Papenfuse told a Harrisburg TV station news reporter. "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 reportedly responded that despite payments of $600,000 directly to the city since 2014, the mayor wanted the NRA to pay additional fees to secure police protection for the show.
To learn more about the controversy, read this detailed account from pennlive.com: http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/01/harrisburg_forbids_police_offi.html .
The bottom line seems to be that the show will go on, and the NRA will hire police officers from surrounding townships to provide security inside the Farm Show Complex. Harrisburg officers will provide traffic control and assistance duties outside the complex, because that is a public safety function for the city.