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NRA convention coming to Dallas this week with Trump, Abbott: Here’s what to know

The event is billed as the largest gathering of Second Amendment supporters.

Tens of thousands of gun rights supporters will head to Dallas this week for the National Rifle Association’s annual conference, which will feature appearances by former President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Here’s what to know about the conference:

Largest Second Amendment gathering

Billed as the country’s largest gathering of Second Amendment supporters, the event runs Friday through Sunday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas. This year marks the organization’s 153rd annual meeting.


Seminars will cover tips for concealed carry, school security and how to interact with law enforcement. Roughly 650 vendors with guns and gear will cover 14 acres of exhibit space. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend.

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“This is the place to be for anyone who is an NRA member or a Second Amendment supporter,” NRA spokesperson Nick Perrine said.

Dallas last hosted the event in 2018, and Houston hosted in 2022.


Trump to address members

Trump, who will give the keynote address Saturday afternoon, has been a frequent fixture on the NRA stage since his first address to the organization in 2015.

Trump has repeatedly promised to protect gun owners’ rights, even as the U.S. grapples with an epidemic of gun violence. In February, the former president told NRA members gathered for the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Penn., that “no one will lay a finger on your firearms” if he returns to the White House. Trump also bragged that during his time as president, he “did nothing” to curb guns.


“During my four years nothing happened. And there was great pressure on me having to do with guns. We did nothing. We didn’t yield,” he told the crowd.

Trump did, however, ban bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns. The ban came after a gunman in Las Vegas killed 60 and injured hundreds more at a 2017 country music festival using assault-style rifles, many of which were equipped with bump stocks. The U.S. Supreme Court is now weighing a challenge to that ban.

Admission to the event is free, but attendees must belong to the NRA.

Are firearms allowed?

Attendees can carry guns at the conference — with one notable exception.

Firearms, gun accessories and knives are forbidden at the event where Trump and Abbott are speaking, per a requirement of the Secret Service, Perrine said. Attendees will be screened before entry and subject to searches. Also banned are backpacks, laser pointers, mace and pepper spray, toy guns, selfie sticks, and umbrellas.

NRA strife

This year’s meeting comes as the NRA is mired in turmoil. In February, a jury in New York found Wayne LaPierre, the longtime head of the organization, guilty of misspending millions of dollars of NRA money. He was accused of using the funds to pay for an extravagant lifestyle that included exotic getaways and trips on private planes and yachts.

LaPierre is required to repay almost $4.4 million to the NRA, which jurors found had failed to properly manage its assets, omitted or misrepresented information in its tax filings and violated whistleblower protections. LaPierre announced his resignation days before the trial was set to start.


Longtime NRA executive Andrew Arulanandam stepped in as interim CEO.