Guns are banned during Trump’s upcoming speech at the NRA conference
Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Leadership Forum on Friday. But audience members at the group’s annual meeting, being held this year in Houston, won’t be able to carry guns during his address.
The conference is going ahead in the shadow of Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that killed at least 21 people — including 19 students.
According to the NRA, the Secret Service is taking control of the hall during Trump’s speech and is prohibiting attendees from having firearms, firearms accessories and knives. Ammunition, laser pointers, pepper spray, toy guns, backpacks and other items also won’t be allowed.
The Secret Service will search attendees with magnetometers before they enter the hall, the NRA said.
This isn’t the first time firearms have been off-limits during a part of the gun group’s annual convention. In 2018 a similar prohibition was put in place during a speech by then-Vice President Mike Pence.
The Secret Service told NPR in a statement at the time that the agency has the “authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states.”
In 1999, after the mass shooting at Columbine High School that left 13 people dead, the NRA considered canceling its annual convention scheduled for a few days later in Denver but ultimately decided to go ahead with the event.