By David Goldman, CNN Business
The manufacturer of a firearm used in the Robb Elementary School shooting said it will not attend the National Rifle Association convention Friday.
“Daniel Defense is not attending the NRA meeting due to the horrifying tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, where one of our products was criminally misused,” said Steve Reed, vice president of marketing for Daniel Defense, in a statement. “We believe this week is not the appropriate time to be promoting our products in Texas at the NRA meeting.”
A gunman fatally shot 19 children and two teachers at the school earlier this week. Investigators found one of the suspect’s AR15-style rifles, manufactured by Daniel Defense, in the school, according Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, who received a briefing from law enforcement.
The NRA is set to hold its annual meeting in Houston Friday, the gun lobby’s first convention in three years. The organization canceled the previous two meetings because of the Covid pandemic.
Top NRA officials and Republican politicians, including former President Donald Trump and NRA head Wayne LaPierre, will address attendees.
Gunmakers will also show off their products at an exposition. But Daniel Defense will not be among them. In a statement on its website, the company called Tuesday’s school shooting “evil.”
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Texas this week,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community devastated by this evil act.”
The AR15-style rifle was discovered with suspect, Salvador Ramos, who was fatally shot by a Border Patrol officer.
State Sen. Ronald Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, said the guns were bought legally from a federally authorized dealer in the area for Ramos’ 18th birthday.
Daniel Defense wasn’t the only NRA convention participant to pull out.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott canceled his in-person appearance but will address NRA members “through prerecorded video.” And at least three musicians who were set to sing in a concert at this weekend’s convention have canceled their performances. Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart cited the shooting in Uvalde as the reason for their cancellations.
The NRA condemned the shooting in a statement Wednesday, calling it a “horrific and evil crime.” The organization filed for bankruptcy last year after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued to dissolve the NRA. The lawsuit accuses the NRA’s senior leadership of using millions of dollars from the organization’s reserves for personal use and tax fraud.
— CNN’s Paradise Afshar and Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report
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