Thursday, November 24 2022
The NRA’s annual meeting was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year the organization is moving forward with its plans, holding the meeting at a time when gun rights and the organization itself have come under intense scrutiny, especially after an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left 21 people dead.

Here’s what we know about the 2022 Annual Meeting.

The 2022 NRA Annual Meeting and Expos are scheduled to take place May 27-29, according to the event’s website. The leaders’ forum, which the organization considers “one of the most important and politically popular events in the country”, will take place on Friday afternoon.

Where is the meeting?

The Leadership Forum will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, the same location it was scheduled to be last September for the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Who can attend the meeting?

The annual meeting is open to NRA members only. The organization currently has more than five million members, according to its website.

Who are this year’s speakers?

Friday’s meeting will feature remarks from eight people, including NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and Jason Ouimet, the executive director of the group’s lobbying arm, according to the event’s website.

Trump will also speak at the event. The former president, who has enjoyed a close relationship with the gun lobby and its activists throughout his presidency, spoke at the 2019 event, which marked his fifth consecutive speech at the annual meeting. .

In addition to Trump, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, also a Republican, are also scheduled to speak at Friday’s meeting. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, both Republicans, will also deliver remarks.

What are the security measures?

The NRA said that because Trump will be present at the event, the US Secret Service “will take control of the General Assembly Hall and have magnetometers in place prior to entry.”

Attendees are prohibited from bringing “firearms, gun accessories, knives and other items”, including backpacks and selfie sticks.

What has happened since the 2019 meeting?

Friday’s annual meeting will come at a time when gun rights and the NRA have come under intense scrutiny, with gun control supporters turning their attention to the organization this week after An 18-year-old gunman fatally shot and killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, before being killed by law enforcement, officials said.

The NRA condemned the shooting in a statement Wednesday, calling it a “horrific and diabolical crime.”

“Although an investigation is ongoing and facts are still emerging, we recognize that this is the act of a lone and deranged criminal,” the group said. “As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members and pledge to redouble our commitment to securing our schools.”

The massacre is the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut in 2012 that left 26 people dead, including 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7.

The NRA also fought to stay afloat after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to disband the NRA for allegedly misusing charitable funds. In March, a New York State Supreme Court judge blocked James’ attempt to disband the organization, but allowed his lawsuit to proceed.
And observers are also awaiting a decision from the United States Supreme Court in the biggest Second Amendment case it has heard in more than a decade. Judges are considering overturning a New York gun law enacted more than a century ago that places restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon outside the home.

What happened at the last annual meeting?

At the 2019 annual meeting, Trump announced he would not ratify a United Nations arms trade treaty, then signed a message in the Senate before an audience of NRA leaders.

The reunion was also notable because then-NRA president Oliver North told members he would not be reappointed as group president following a dispute with LaPierre. The announcement was made in a letter in which North said he hoped he would be reappointed for a second term, but “I am now informed that will not happen”.

Already a controversial figure due to her involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, North joined the NRA at a critical time for her as she responded to new calls for gun control following the shooting in a 2017 school in Parkland, Florida.

This story has been updated with a statement from the NRA.

Ariane of CNN’s Vogue, Sonia Moghe, Jeremy Diamond, Maegan Vazquez and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.

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