NN&V Exclusive (David Mansdoerfer) – Over 300 gun owners were scheduled to attend a grassroots event held by the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA – ILA) on November 19 at the Silverton Casino. However, in an apparent breach of contract, Silverton Casino pulled out of the contract leaving the NRA scrambling to find a new location.
In reality, there may not have been a better casino in Las Vegas to host a NRA – ILA grassroots convention. Known for its Livin Lodge ad campaign, the Silverton Casino is known best for its Bass Pro Shop, aquarium and general outdoors feel.
The NRA – ILA was, and still is, planning on using this event to announce the creation of the Nevada Firearms Coalalition to its members and provide an update on important gun issues facing Nevada residents.
During the initial contract negotiation, Silverton waived their no guns policy to accommodate the NRA and its members. Now, however, citing unease over allowing firearms, Silverton withdrew from the contract and signaled that they were going to refund the NRA’s money.
The NRA – ILA feels that Silverton has backed off its pro gun stance. Don Turner, who is the President for the newly created Nevada Firearms Coalition noted, “Hundreds of thousands of Nevada citizens, including 47% of Clark County residents, are lawful gun owners; the Nevada Firearms Coalition was formed to give us a voice. The Silverton Casino claimed they were gun owner friendly, they are not, so we are taking our event and our business elsewhere.”
What makes this even more confusing is that Silverton Casino, and the rest of Las Vegas, has been deeply hurt by this recession. During the recession, Silverton had to cut hundreds of employees and reduce the salaries of hourly workers. While things might be slightly better as the economy looks to be turning around, a stunt like this isn’t likely to win over the gun owning members of the Nevada community.
Luckily, the NRA is in the process of finalizing another location. But, as anyone who has ever planned an event before, changing your venue at the last moment leads to confusion from event participants and is an overall logistical nightmare.
The Silverton Casino is likely to see some negative kickback from the Nevada’s gun owning community. The only question now is if it will be through litigation because of a breach of contract or boycott.
(Mr. Mansdoerfer is the Director of Legislative Affairs for Citizen Outreach. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy with an emphasis in international relations and state & local policy from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. You can follow him on Twitter at @DPMANSDOERFER)