The travel guide published by the Washington, D.C., official convention and sports authority has refused to run ads for the National Rifle Association's National Firearms Museum because those ads depict firearms.
"I am writing again about the ad your team has recently submitted for the Destination DC’s Official Visitors Guide," Claire Carlin, VP of partnerships & alliances of Destination DC, told NRA officials in an email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "We recognize the place that firearms have had in history, but have decided not to run any ads that depict weapons or ammunition at this time."
The organization told the NRA it was willing to run an ad for the firearms museum, as long as it does not depict any firearms.
Destination DC is a private, non-profit corporation that represents more than 850 businesses and organizations in the D.C. area—including American Airlines, the Washington Nationals, American Express, and Amtrak. However, a percentage of the corporation's funding comes directly from D.C.’s hotel occupancy tax. Destination DC is also a contracting arm of Events DC, the "official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia."
The NRA said Destination DC explained it would no longer run ads featuring guns because of the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.
"Carlin explained that Destination DC made the decision to avoid publishing an ad featuring a firearm due to the shooting attack in Orlando," said Jason Brown, an NRA spokesperson. "She suggested instead we use a photo of visitors entering the museum, offering that since it is an ‘entertainment venue,' an image of a firearm is not necessary."
The NRA offered three different ad variations featuring antique firearms on display at the museum during their discussions with Destination DC. One featured civil-war-era muskets, a wheel lock carbine from the Mayflower, and a flintlock fowler owned by Napoleon Bonaparte. All three were rejected.
Destination DC did not say whether or not they would be removing the museum's listing in its physical or online guides, as both feature pictures of firearms contained in the museum.
"The NRA is surprised and disappointed that a publication purporting to be a guide to historic attractions in the nation's capital would choose to censor history, neglecting to allow a museum dedicated to preserving and chronicling the history of not only America’s legendary arms, but the story of firearms throughout the world, particularly since the publication has willingly published our ads featuring historic firearms in the past," Brown said.
Update 2:41 p.m.: Following publication, Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC said, "We are constantly evaluating how best to promote Washington, DC for visitors and have decided not to include images that can be considered controversial, which includes the confederate flag and weapons. We certainly recognize that the museum is a place to learn about American history and we are willing to promote the museum without weapons imagery in our publications."