Guns won’t be allowed when Vice President Mike Pence speaks Friday at a National Rifle Association convention in Dallas in order to protect his safety.
The NRA says the Secret Service ordered the ban, but survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting are calling the move hypocritical, noting the organization’s fierce opposition to gun-free zones in most public places.
No firearms or weapons of any kind will be allowed at the NRA Leadership Conference at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, during Pence’s appearance, according to an NRA website. The notice emphasizes that the U.S. Secret Service is responsible for security at the conference, given Pence’s attendance.
The jurisdictional distinction didn’t impress some survivors of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., or some families of the 17 slain in the Feb. 14 attack. Many survivors and families have become activists seeking stricter gun laws.
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The NRA wants “guns everywhere” when it comes to kids, Matt Deitsch, a Parkland student who helped organize the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., wrote on Twitter.
The NRA, along with President Donald Trump, has called for arming teachers to deter future school shootings. Trump also is expected to speak this weekend at the NRA convention, though details of his appearance are still being worked out.
Cameron Kasky, also a survivor of the shooting, called the NRA “a hilarious parody of itself.”
Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg, 14, who died in the attack, also expressed incredulity at the gun ban.
Others also professed confusion at the decision to bar guns from the speech.
Some NRA members who plan to attend the conference have expressed concern about the ban, according to a post on Twitter.
But others called the outrage over the gun ban a silly publicity stunt.