PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Concealed Carry convention is expect to attract 10,000 people in Pittsburgh this weekend.
City Councilman Ricky Burgess, of Homewood, says it’s the wrong message for a city still reeling from the tragedy at the Tree of Life.
More than 17 million people in America have concealed carry licenses and this Friday, 10,000 of them are headed to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
It has prompted Burgess to put up his defenses.
“The weapons convention just sends a wrong signal given the recent tragedy at the Tree of Life and the continued urban violence,” Burgess said. “I just think this is the wrong time and the wrong place.”
The concealed carry convention comes just six months after the deadly tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue and a little more than a month after the city enacted restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition.
It’s a law that prompted open carry protests.
Burgess places blame on organizations like Concealed Carry for continued gun violence.
“They are actually sellers of death,” he said. “They are the reason that many of our communities are abandoned and displaced and difficult because of gun violence.”
Organizers of the event pledge to keep it safe, and convention management says they have a legally binding contract for the event that was signed more than a year ago.
Burgess concedes there’s not much he can do to stop it, but says he can still speak up.
“I do have the moral authority to stand up and say ‘we do not want you in our city, we do not want more guns in our city, just the opposite,'” he said.
The fact is, the convention will attract more than 10,000 people to town, along with their money, and no one has the appetite to cancel it.