Park Slope banquet hall backs out of hosting NRA fundraiser

Posted: Updated:

The owner of the Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope has gone back on his agreement to host an NRA fundraiser.

The second annual Brooklyn Friends of the NRA fundraiser was originally planned for April 12 at Gargiulo's Italian Restaurant in Coney Island, but the restaurant canceled in the wake of public outcry. That's when the Grand Prospect Hall agreed to host the event.

"People that I met are hunters and very nice people, and I have no problem with them personally," said Grand Prospect Hall owner Michael Halkias.

Several elected officials, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, opposed the initial decision to host the event.

"We cannot dream of supporting a fundraiser anywhere in this community for this organization, particularly one that may be engaging in irresponsible gun raffles and the like," the officials said in a statement. "Rest assured, we are prepared to protest if the NRA comes into our community on any day."

About two weeks after signing a contract, Halkias had a change of heart.

"I was sandwiched by the two groups, very strong groups, and finally I let the majority win," he said. "Whether I agree or not, it does not matter -- they are my customers, and I want to make them happy."

Halkias said he understands people's concerns, which is why he ultimately made this decision not to host the event.

News 12 did not immediately hear back from Brooklyn Friends of the NRA for comment.

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