May 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

NRA recommits to holding annual meeting in Houston after Uvalde shooting

Wayne LaPierre, CEO and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association, speaking at CPAC 2022 in Orlando in February.

Wayne LaPierre, CEO and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, speaks at CPAC 2022 in Orlando, Fla., in February. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said in a statement Wednesday that it still intends to hold its annual meeting in Houston this week despite the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left at least 19 children and two adults dead.

Why it matters: The attack in Uvalde and another mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 dead on May 14 have intensified the debate on gun control legislation and renewed scrutiny of gun rights organizations like the NRA and gun manufacturers.

  • Former President Trump doubled down on speaking at the NRA meeting earlier Wednesday, saying, "America needs solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politics and partisanship."

What they're saying: "Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime. On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders and others who offered their support and services," the NRA said in the statement.

  • "Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal. 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 making our schools secure," it added.

Police were present at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde at the time of the shooting, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

  • A spokesperson for the department said Tuesday that the gunman engaged law enforcement officials before entering the school, barricading himself in a classroom and shooting children and the two teachers inside.

The big picture: U.S. gun manufacturing has tripled since 2000, with licensed gun manufacturers building around 11.3 million firearms in 2020 alone, according to a new federal tally of gun commerce released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month.

  • In 2000, around 1,400 firearms were produced for every 100,000 people in the U.S. That ballooned to more than 3,400 by 2020. The U.S. population increased 18% over those two decades.
  • At no point since 2011 has there been a year in which fewer than around 6.7 million firearms were manufactured for domestic consumption.
  • Meanwhile, firearm-related injuries surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in 2020, according to an analysis of new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data published in April.

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