The National Rifle Association announced Monday it will not hold its 2007 convention in Columbus, Ohio, because of the city’s recent ban on semi-automatic firearms, reports the Dayton Daily News. The association would reconsider if the Ohio legislature overrides the ban, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said. Rep. James Aslanides, R-Coshocton, said he plans to introduce legislation by fall that will prohibit cities from enacting their own gun laws.
Columbus’ ban, effective Aug. 11, outlaws the sale and possession of semiautomatic rifles with pistol grips and detachable magazines. LaPierre said Columbus will potentially lose about $20 million in revenue and national publicity by not hosting the event. He said the group will announce the new host city in about two weeks. Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, called the NRA’s action arrogant. “It is astonishing that this extremist organization thinks it can bully and intimidate local lawmakers and municipalities that are working to reduce gun violence and the threat of assault weapons on our streets,” she said.