DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The National Rifle Association is currently scheduled to hold their annual meetings at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas this May. But one Dallas leader is now calling for the organization to stay away from the Texas city.
Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway is urging the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits to find a new home, saying that the gun event is inappropriate following last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “There will be marches and demonstrations should they come to Dallas,” Caraway promised at a Monday morning news conference.
“I feel it is necessary as an elected official to speak up and stand up,” Caraway said.
In a statement released to the media earlier on Monday, Caraway said:
Gun violence has played a significant part in Dallas’ historical past from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the five Dallas Police officers gunned down in July 2016 to the brutal murder of a mother of six children in District 4 this past Christmas. It is time to put the heat on the NRA and demand that they work with elected officials in our country to establish gun laws that protect our children and keep our communities safe. We have got to take on the NRA. I am all for the protection of the 2nd Amendment but I am also for protecting the children and a safer Dallas. We must get rid of these assault weapons to protect the children and we must do something now.
The annual NRA event is scheduled for May 4-6 in Dallas. This is where the group’s national elected officials take part in their leadership meetings. But the event also includes exhibits and the legal sale of guns. Caraway is calling for the NRA to stay out of Dallas and work with politicians to establish gun laws.
“The NRA needs to step up to the plate and show leadership,” Caraway said, noting that the NRA “stand for the very things we are confronted with every day of our lives” and that “absolutely nothing” is being done about the nation’s gun violence from a policy perspective.
“I am a believer of the Second Amendment. I have five guns, one in my car, one in every room of my house,” Caraway said. “I don’t believe that you should have arms greater than our military, greater than our police force.” Caraway pointed to examples of gun violence across the nation — and particularly in DFW — that involved assault weapons.
Many of the country’s mass shootings were committed with the use of an AR-15 rifle, labeled as a military assault weapon but often purchased legally by the shooters. This was the case with both the school shooting in Florida last week and the ambush on Dallas police officers in 2016.
“While we are worried about terrorists,” Caraway said, “we are living in a terrorist society.”
In a written statement, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, “We’re always working to be a welcoming city for people and organizations of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. But of course I’m concerned about the image of Dallas as the host of this convention. I know I’m one of many Dallasites who doesn’t agree with the NRA’s viewpoints or tactics. However, they have a legal contract that was signed in 2012 and I’m not advocating that we violate that agreement. Hopefully we will take the opportunity in Dallas to engage in meaningful dialogue about how we work together to end mass killings in America.”
CBS11 has reached out to the NRA for comment, but so far there has been no response.