Trump, Pence to headline NRA conference in Indianapolis next month
Former President Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence are set to headline the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting next month on the heels of the school shooting in Tennessee this week that left three children and three adults dead.
Trump and Pence will be joined by a number of other Republicans as speakers at the event, including some who may be eyeing a bid for the White House in 2024. The list of confirmed speakers includes New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R).
The NRA’s annual meeting in Indianapolis next month follows the shooting in Nashville this week that killed three nine-year-old students and three school staff in their 60s at a private Christian school in the city. The killings have reignited a debate over gun safety and gun control in the U.S. The NRA, the country’s most prominent gun rights groups, has often faced criticism after such shootings.
The decision by Trump and Pence to attend the event in Indianapolis on April 14 comes as the Republican 2024 primary field starts to take shape. Trump jumped into the race just after the 2022 midterms, with Pence saying he is still considering whether to launch a campaign. Sununu, Noem and Hutchinson have also been floated as possible presidential hopefuls.
A former advisor to Pence during his time as vice president, Olivia Troye, who worked on homeland security and counterterrorism, questioned on Twitter whether Pence and others would still attend the meeting.
“As we grieve another horrific school shooting, in the aftermath of Uvalde, Michigan & now Nashville: will Mike Pence, Chris Sununu & Asa Hutchinson, all who are likely running for the 2024 GOP nom for President, still attend & speak at the upcoming NRA convention?” Troye said on Twitter.
The posting on the NRA’s website for the event warns attendees that Secret Service will control one of the halls in the convention center where the meeting will take place and that firearms, firearm accessories, knives and other items would not be allowed in the hall, per Secret Service policy.
The Hill has reached out to the NRA to confirm that all the confirmed speakers are still set to attend the event.
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