• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Trump scheduled to address NRA conference in Texas 72 hours after elementary-school shooting

·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas at the annual National Rifle Association convention in May 2018.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
  • The National Rifle Association is set to hold its annual meeting in Houston this week.

  • Former President Donald Trump and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas are scheduled speakers.

  • It's set to start Friday, three days after at least 19 people were killed at a school in Texas.

Just 72 hours after at least 18 children and a teacher were shot to death at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, numerous Republican lawmakers are set to address a National Rifle Association meeting about 300 miles away in Houston, including Gov. Greg Abbott and former President Donald Trump.

The NRA has long opposed efforts to restrict access to guns. In 2011, it sued Texas in a failed effort to force the state to lower the legal age for possessing a handgun to 18 from 21.

Law enforcement said the gunman Tuesday attacked Robb Elementary School using a handgun and possibly a rifle.

The NRA meeting, hosted by the group's Institute for Legislative Action — its self-described lobbying arm — is scheduled to begin Friday. It is open only to NRA members and runs through the weekend.

Additional scheduled speakers include Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, and Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota. No Democrats are set to address the meeting.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas had been scheduled to speak, but, in a statement, a spokesperson said Cornyn had already withdrawn before the shooting over an "unexpected change in his schedule."

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Crenshaw said he too would not be able to attend, telling Insider that the lawmaker would not make it back from his trip to Ukraine in time.

Political sway

In the 2020 election cycle, the NRA directly contributed more than $616,000 to federal politicians, according to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit monitoring group. Of the recipients, more than 98% were Republicans.

Earlier this year, the group endorsed Abbott's campaign for reelection.

"Governor Abbott is a tireless defender of the right to keep and bear arms," NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said, the Houston Chronical reported.

Spokespersons for Abbott, Cruz, and Trump did not respond to requests for comment from Insider on whether they still plan to attend the event.

Read the original article on Business Insider