NRA Cancels Annual Meeting Because of COVID-19 Safety Concerns

Getty The logo of the National Rifle Association is seen at an outdoor sports trade show on February 10, 2017.

The NRA has canceled its 2021 annual meeting, which was scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas, because of the rising COVID-19 cases in the region. A “Meeting of Members” will be rescheduled, with the new date announced in the future.  This is the second annual meeting that the National Rifle Association has canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Meeting Was Canceled Due to Safety Concerns

After consulting with medical professionals and officials, the NRA decided to cancel its 2021 meeting and all related activities that were taking place in Houston. The annual meeting for 2021 was going to be the NRA’s 150th-anniversary celebration.

In a statement, the NRA wrote on its website:

Due to concern over the safety of our NRA family and community, we regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel the 2021 Annual Meeting & Exhibits. This cancellation applies to all events and meetings that were scheduled in Houston. We will provide future notification regarding a rescheduled date for the annual Meeting of Members.

We make this difficult decision after analyzing relevant data regarding COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas. We also consulted with medical professionals, local officials, major sponsors & exhibitors, and many NRA members before arriving at this decision. The NRA Annual Meeting welcomes tens of thousands of people, and involves many events, meetings, and social gatherings. Among the highlights of our annual meeting are acres of exhibit space featuring the latest and greatest firearms, the display of countless accessories, and the offering of adventures and group gatherings that many travel hundreds, and some even thousands, of miles to experience. We realize that it would prove difficult, if not impossible, to offer the full guest experience that our NRA members deserve.

The NRA further clarified that because the health of its members and supporters is its top priority, it could not move forward with the meeting.

The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters.  We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications. Those are among the reasons why we decided to cancel our 2021 event.

The organization noted that it will support local events “in a manner that is protective of our members and celebrates our Second Amendment freedom.”

The event was supposed to take place in Houston from September 3-5, 2021. It was originally scheduled to take place in mid-May and had been postponed until September due to pandemic concerns, the NRA’s website noted.

Several days before the decision was announced, The Daily Beast reported that some gun manufacturers were pulling out of the event and asking the NRA to cancel its conference. The Daily Beast reported that according to unnamed people with knowledge of the situation, manufacturers who were making moves to drop out included Benelli USA, Browning, FN Herstal, Kimber Manufacturing, Savage Arms, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Sig Sauer, and Sturm, Ruger & Company. The companies did not return The Daily Beast’s inquiries. Other companies were also considering pulling out of the event before it was canceled.

Its ‘Celebration of Freedom’ in 2022 Is Still Scheduled

The NRA noted that it still plans to host a Celebration of Freedom in May 2022 in Lousiville.

This is the second annual meeting the organization has canceled because of the pandemic. In March 2020, the NRA decided to cancel its annual membership meeting that was scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 2020, Tennessean reported. The organization canceled that meeting after the governor had declared a state of emergency.

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