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NRA Convention Draws Guns, Trump to Dallas

Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, Tuesday. | Image by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, Tuesday. | Image by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The National Rifle Association held its annual conference in Dallas this past weekend, showcasing 14 acres of gun-related merchandise and a fiery campaign speech by former President Donald Trump.

Above all, Trump took aim at President Joe Biden’s purported anti-gun agenda.

“If the Biden regime gets four more years, they are coming for your guns,” Trump said, as reported by Politico. “Crooked Joe Biden has a 40-year record of trying to rip firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.”

Gov. Greg Abbott made a brief appearance to highlight his administration’s pro-gun policy contributions, including codifying unlicensed open and concealed carry and expanding carry rights on college campuses. Abbott also stumped for Trump ahead of the 2024 presidential election, highlighting the former president’s efforts to secure the border.

“Donald Trump is the antidote to Joe Biden,” Abbott said, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman. “In the history of America, no president has done more to secure our border. No president has fought harder to protect your Second Amendment rights.”

The annual convention drew more than 70,000 attendees and allowed vendors to tout their products. Beyond guns and ammunition, organizations such as banks turned out to offer their services. According to reporting by KERA, Old Glory Bank offered gun enthusiasts “cancel proof” banking and claimed to be America’s “Second Amendment bank.”

The event offered dozens of classes and lectures ranging from topics such as “Intro to Long Range Field Shooting” and “Choosing the Right Handgun” to “Mistakes that Land You In Prison After Defensive Gun Use.”

Anti-gun protesters organized by Students Demand Action, Moms Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety gathered at Dallas City Hall to decry the non-profit organization’s annual convention. The groups claimed the NRA was complicit in allowing tragedies such as the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde last year and other mass casualty events, as reported by NBC 5 DFW.

“I’ll never forget the sounds of gunfire ringing out,” Mireya Rodriguez said at the rally, per NBC. “I used to strongly feel like, oh, this wouldn’t happen to me. I live in a good neighborhood. I live in a good community. It wouldn’t happen here, and then it did. We’re holding the gun industry as a whole accountable.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the City of Dallas and the State of Texas are likely to provide the NRA with about $1 million in incentive reimbursements for holding the event. The exact amount will not be determined until officials have assessed the convention’s total economic impact. Funds will be dispersed through the Texas Events Trust Fund program.

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