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Guns banned at Trump event during annual NRA conference

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign-style rally in Florence, Arizona. (YouTube screenshot)
May 26, 2022

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is holding its three-day annual conference in Houston, Texas this weekend, and during the two-hour Annual Leadership Forum portion of the conference on Friday where former President Donald Trump will be speaking, firearms and other weapons will be banned. The conference is being held just days after a gunman opened fire inside a Texas elementary school, killing 19 children and two teachers.  

Ahead of the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in the General Assembly Hall of the George R. Brown Conference Center on Friday, the NRA released a notice on its website which stated, “With the announcement that President Donald J. Trump will be speaking at the Forum, the U.S. Secret Service will take control of the General Assembly Hall and have magnetometers in place before entry. You will be subject to a search of your person and belongings. Per the U.S. SECRET SERVICE, firearms, firearm accessories, knives, and other items WILL NOT BE PERMITTED in the General Assembly Hall.”

The weapons ban does not appear to affect the rest of the event.

The notice said attendees of Trump’s speech are agreeing “to a search of your person and belongings,” and provided the following list of prohibited items:   

  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition
  • Backpacks
  • Bags larger than 18″x13″x7″
  • Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
  • Firearms
  • Glass, Thermal, or Metal Containers
  • Gun Parts, Holsters, Magazines, etc
  • Knives
  • Laser Pointers
  • Mace/Pepper Spray
  • Selfie Sticks
  • Signs
  • Toy guns
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Any other item determined to be potential safety hazards

The notice also warned that there will be no storage available for firearms.

The NRA’s website describes the conference as “one of the most politically significant and popular events in the country, featuring our nation’s top Second Amendment leaders in government, the media, and the entertainment industry.”

In addition to Trump, other confirmed speakers at the Leadership Forum include Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Admission is free and will be granted on a first come, first serve basis. The event begins at 2:00 PM and is open to all NRA members.

After the shooting this week in Uvalde, Texas, Sen. Cruz said in a statement that Americans should “come together, as one nation, and support Uvalde as they try to heal from this devastating loss.”

Cruz also called for “hardening school security and hiring armed police officers to keep our kids safe.”

“This is horrific. So look, I agree with you, we need to do something…something we can do, is we need to pass legislation,” Cruz said during an appearance on Fox News, adding, “In 2013, I introduced legislation that would spend $300 million on federal grants to harden schools to make them safer. To make them more protected. The Democrats filibustered that legislation.”

“This mass murderer came in through an unlocked door in the back of the school. It’s the exact same way the mass murderer came into the school in Santa Fe just outside of Houston. I was there that horrible morning,” Cruz continued. “I sat at round tables with the parents and families talking about how to make schools safer, and one of the things that everyone agreed is don’t have all of these unlocked back doors. Have one door into and out of the school. And have that one door, armed police officers at that door.”

“If that had happened, if those federal grants had gone to this school, when that psychopath arrived, the armed police officers could have taken him out, and we’d have 19 children and two teachers still alive,” he added. “We need to do something, but it’s not empty political posturing. It’s acting and acting strongly to keep our kids safe.”