Attendees at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas can carry their firearms — except during the forum where President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence speak Friday.
A White House official said Monday that Trump will attend Friday. Pence had already been slated to speak at Friday’s leadership forum.
The NRA posted a notice on its website saying that the arena will be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service during the leadership forum. It’s standard for the Secret Service to bar firearms from being carried into places visited by the people they protect. Other prohibited items include toy guns, selfie sticks and knives, according to the notice the NRA posted.
Some students at the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 people were killed in February criticized the NRA on social media for what they see as hypocrisy.
“It’s ironic that they feel they need to ban guns to protect themselves especially after their main philosophy has been more guns equals more protection yet they don’t think they need to protect our kids in the same way,” said David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who has pushed for stricter gun control since the shooting.
Guns were also banned during Trump’s appearance at the NRA’s annual meeting in Atlanta last year.
Alice Tripp, an NRA member and the legislative director of the membership-based Texas State Rifle Association, said she sees “not even a little bit” of a problem with attendees not being able to carry guns during that portion of the meeting. She noted the Secret Service has its own view on how to ensure the safety of the people they protect.
NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the group’s policy is that firearms are permitted in accordance with local law. She referred questions about the Secret Service’s policies to that agency.
Texas allows licensed open carry of handguns and open carry of long rifles.