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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 NelsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory Senate Democrats want to avoid Kavanaugh 2.0 MORE (D-Fla.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Rubio signals opposition to Biden Cabinet picks Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks MORE (R-Fla.), as well as Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Florida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Matt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid MORE (D-Fla.), have agreed to participate in the televised town hall event.

CNN also invited President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation 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.