The White House confirmed that President Donald Trump will address the National Rifle Association (NRA) at its annual convention in Dallas, TX, this week.
Both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence plan to speak at the annual event on Friday, May 4. The prominent gun rights lobbying group’s event will take place from May 3 through May 6.
Although Trump addressed the NRA at its convention for the past four years, this year’s gathering comes amid new calls for stronger gun control laws in the United States after a rash of mass shootings in the country, according to CNN.
Ironically, USA Today reported that the NRA actually banned guns during the event as a safety measure. This step drew plenty of criticism from gun control advocates who believe that stricter gun laws should restrict guns in many areas throughout the U.S. including schools, churches, and other public places.
Of course, the reason for the weapons ban at the NRA event is because the Secret Service is in charge of security due to the presence of both the president and vice president, which means no weapons of any kind, including guns or gun accessories, are allowed. In this instance, the definition of weapons even includes selfie sticks and laser pointers, which find themselves on the banned items list.
Survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, which claimed the lives of 17 people, spoke out on Twitter about the president addressing the NRA event as well as the fact that guns are banned at the gathering. The situation displeased the students along with other gun control advocates throughout the country.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Trump met with U.S. senators claiming he would stand up to the NRA and demanded a comprehensive gun control bill. Ultimately, Trump caved on gun control proposals and ended up backing the modest ideas that the NRA itself backed instead of expanded background checks and raising the age to buy certain guns to 21 years he initially supported. Although he claimed the ideas didn’t receive support, one reason Trump may have backtracked is that the incredibly strong group donated $30 million to his 2016 presidential election campaign, which some people believe makes him beholden to the NRA’s wishes.