NRA accepts CNN invitation to participate in town hall on guns

NRA accepts CNN invitation to participate in town hall on guns
© Greg Nash

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has agreed to participate in a CNN town hall on Wednesday with students and parents affected by the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The gun advocacy group will be represented by national spokeswoman Dana Loesch, according to CNN

The town hall comes a week after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 25 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. That attack left 17 people dead and 14 others injured. 

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The alleged shooter has been identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school. He was charged last week with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The shooting has reignited the national debate over gun control, with the school's students emerging as some of the most vocal advocates for tighter firearms restrictions. 

So far, Sens. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms MORE (D-Fla.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Venezuela puts spotlight on Rubio MORE (R-Fla.), as well as Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales Whitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers Parkland father on Gaetz advocating for border wall in gun violence hearing: 'Pretty offensive' MORE (D-Fla.), have agreed to participate in the televised town hall event.

CNN also invited President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), though both turned down the invitation.

The NRA has faced particular criticism from advocates of stricter gun control laws, who have decried the organization's vast influence in Washington.