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NRA Convention Could Net $1M in Incentives

NRA meeting - Dallas

The National Rifle Association, which is holding its annual convention in Dallas this weekend, could receive as much as $1 million in local and state incentives.

The Texas Events Trust Fund Program uses a combination of state and local taxpayer dollars to offset expenses associated with putting on an event, incentivizing organizers to bring their events to the Lone Star State.

“The NRA, because of their size, qualify for an incentive opportunity that is based upon the materialization of the amount of bedroom business that they bring in after the fact,” Craig Davis, Visit Dallas’ president and CEO, told The Dallas Morning News. “After we do an audit of their actual pickup, then we do give them a lump sum payment.”

While the amount the NRA will receive will not be determined until after the event, estimates based on previous events indicate that Texas could give the pro-gun organization $862,000, and the City of Dallas could pay around $138,000. The governor’s office will factor in the total economic impact of the event and then provide funds to the nonprofit in the form of a refund.

The three-day event at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will feature 14 acres of firearm displays and showcase more than a dozen special speaker opportunities that are free to attend for NRA members, as posted on the event’s official website. The convention itself is open to the public.

Approximately 75,000 people are anticipated to attend the convention, which began Thursday with a soft opening and runs through Sunday.

Former President Donald Trump will be the keynote speaker on Saturday at the Leadership Forum at 2 p.m. The organization said the event is free, but entrance will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. They recommend lining up at 11 a.m. to get a seat.

Trump previously served as the keynote speaker at the 2018 NRA Convention and drew a large crowd for the event.

Firearms will not be sold during the convention, but there is a raffle event in which winners will receive a firearm at a later date. Per Secret Service requirements, open and concealed carry will be allowed on the convention floor but not during Trump’s speech.

The last time the NRA Convention was held in Dallas was in 2018. The economic impact generated by attendees staying at hotels, using transportation, and eating at restaurants was estimated at $40.6 million. This year’s convention is not expected to be as large as the 2018 event, which saw some 87,000 NRA members and gun enthusiasts attend.

Funds from the Events Trust Fund are also being used to incentivize the Mike Tyson-Jake Paul bout scheduled for July 20, as reported by WFAA. The fund was also used to attract the NFL to book Super Bowl XLV in Arlington in 2011 and Super Bowl LI in Houston in 2017.

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