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Gun Rally Bus Fee Feud
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association may be going to court over a sort of parking fee in the city of Albany.
It's not just a couple hundred bucks. It's nearly $12,000 in bus fees.
Back in January,a major gun rally took place in Albany. People came by the busload.
One of the organizers of the event was JJ Johnson Smith, the self-described Gun Granny.
"We organized the first anti-safe act rally here at the capital and we had over ten thousand people show up."
A similar rally happened in February. More people came by more buses.
The primary event organizer was the NYS Rifle and Pistol Association.
Months later, association president Tom King's phone rang.
"I got a call from the Albany PD and they said, 'who's going to pay for our parking fees?'.
"I said, 'what parking fees?'"
Kind received an invoice for nearly $12,000 for services by police to direct and park 180 buses.
King says he and the association are not responsible for it and questioned if anyone else gets such invoices after rallies.
Corporation counsel Bill Kelly says they do.
"Over 200 different groups have held events. All those that received invoices, have paid them," says Kelly.
He says the only outstanding bill is the one for the Rifle and Pistol Association.
JJ says, with her group, there was, "no mention ever made of any charges for parking the buses or keeping buses here."
"We didn't order the buses. They were ordered by private groups that were coming."
Private groups could be the issue here.
Kelly says there was one invoice paid for the February rally, by the Federated Sportsman's Club of Ulster County. $390 for 6 buses.
He adds that someone in the PD claims Tom King told them the association would be responsible for the fees of any groups that didn't pay them. Kings says he didn't and that a plea to other private groups to pay up has fallen on deaf ears.
JJ thinks there's more to the invoice flap than just getting bus fees paid.
"It's an effort by the governor to discourage the pro gun people from holding rallies."
Bill Kelly could say exactly how many invoices went out or how much any of those other invoices were for.
Tom King says the association's attorney has sent a letter to the city saying they're not responsible for this bill and will not pay it.
The next volley could be in court.