State Watch

Prominent Republicans scrubbed from NRA forum after Florida shooting

Two top Republicans likely to appear on the November ballot have removed their names from a list of speakers set to address the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual convention in Dallas in May.


Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) were both on the list of confirmed speakers at the NRA's annual leadership forum, set for May 4, along with a host of other Republican elected officials. After the attack on a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 students and faculty members dead, their names and images have been removed from the site.


An NRA spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking clarification about whether Scott and Laxalt would attend. 


Kristin Davison, a spokeswoman for Laxalt's campaign, said they had not yet confirmed with the NRA that the attorney general would make it to Dallas to speak.


"We don't know what May's calendar looks like, so we have not yet responded to the invitation," Davison said in an email. 


A Scott spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.


Scott, who has attended several funerals for those murdered in the Parkland assault, is seen as a likely candidate to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).


Nelson, who appeared at a CNN town hall debate over gun control Wednesday, took several opportunities to criticize his potential opponent for giving financial incentives to gun manufacturers to move to Florida. Scott did not accept CNN's invitation to attend.


Laxalt is running to become the governor of Nevada. He has spoken at previous NRA forums, though a spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal his presence this year had not been confirmed before the NRA added his photograph to the website.


The NRA's annual forum typically draws 70,000 or more members and gun rights advocates. Other speakers whose names still appear on the website for this year's event include Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and top NRA lobbyists and executives.