NRA Annual Meeting Attendance

Stephen Gutowski of The Reload has a tweet up with the official attendance.

With all due respect, I think the key word in Stephen’s tweet is “claims”. I have been to every NRA Annual Meeting that has had an exposition since Charlotte in 2010. This had the least people by far. Friday had really light attendance. It picked up on Saturday as one would expect and was so-so on Sunday. I never had trouble walking the aisles of the George Brown Convention Center on any day. I never got pulled along with the crowd nor blocked at intersections. Every vendor I asked about business said it was slow.

I have attended numerous SHOT Shows where the attendance is in the 60-70,000 range and they all seemed more crowded than this show.

As I said in the comments section in a reply to Old NFO, I saw a lot less of “new media” than in the past. There were a few podcasters, a handful of the professional gun press, and very few of the bloggers I’ve gotten to know over the years. There really were not that many of the mainstream media for that matter. I did have some fun conversations with Molly Hennessy-Fiske of the LA Times and Andrew Schneider of Houston Public Radio.

I did not get the chance to attend any of the seminars or workshops. There were some by historian Martin K. A. Morgan that I would have liked to hear. I believe he did ones on the weapons in the Battle of Hue as well as in the Russo-Ukranian war.

Classy Anti-Rights Protestors

When I arrived at the George Brown Center for the NRA Annual Meeting this morning, I saw about four protestors. A few hours later, the number had increased to about 100-150 being generous. I could be off on my numbers but they seemed to bunch up along a barrier to give the impression of more.

I heard later that Robert Francis O’Rourke was speaking at an anti-gun rally in the park across from the convention center. It is disturbing that he is trying make political hay while many of the details are still not known and families are grieving. I agree with the Mayor of Uvalde when he called O’Rourke ”a sick son of a bitch.” Fortunately, O’Rourke is behind Gov. Greg Abbott by anywhere from 7% to 10% if the polls are accurate.

The demonstrators across the street were loud, were lead in chants by someone with a megaphone, had a drum, and played it up whenever they saw a TV camera. They also were a bit vulgar as the photo below illustrates.

Behind the sign saying “NRA Go Away” was a protestor with a megaphone who seemed to be the chant leader.

As you can see from that picture and the one below, whenever the media or photographers were there taking pictures, the crowd played up to them.

There were a lot of people attending the NRA Annual Meeting who were filming it and taking pictures with their phones. I know a lot found the whole group of protestors to be more of an amusing circus act than anything else.

It will be interesting to see if they will continue to have their anti-rights protests again tomorrow. If so, I’ll try to get more and better pictures.

Off To Texas

I’m off to Houston this afternoon for the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibition.

I think I’m in for an interesting weekend. Many vendors who skipped this year’s SHOT Show will be in attendance showcasing their wares. Not that there is that much that is new under the sun but still…

I fully expect two things this weekend.

First, the Meeting of Members will be somewhat contentious and that the Friends of Wayne will do everything in their power to cut the meeting short as they circle the wagons to protect Wayne.

Second, there will be a number of protestors and demonstrators outside the meeting given the murders in Uvalde yesterday. I would not be surprised to see Shannon Watts with her armed security out there in the plaza in front of the George Brown Center. Of course, as my friend Rob Morse points out better than I can, trained, armed teachers are a deterrent.

As to my expectations coming true, we shall see. We shall see.

NRA Back To Houston

The 2022 NRA Annual Meeting was scheduled to be in Louisville, Kentucky. Then Carolyn Meadows called an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee that met last Friday to discuss future Annual Meeting. From the rumors I heard, they went into executive session rather quickly.

It seems that the decision was made to dump Louisville and go to Houston where they had intended to go this year.

NRA To Hold 151st Annual Meeting
and Exhibits in Houston May 2022

FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Rifle Association announced today the location of its 2022
Annual Meeting and Exhibits will be held in Houston, Texas over Memorial Day weekend May
27-29, 2022.

The NRA had planned to host its 150th celebration in May 2021 in Houston – the site of NRA’s
largest convention on record. The NRA community was disappointed when high COVID rates in
Harris County led to the cancellation of this marquee event.

The Association anticipates no further changes to the locations of the NRA’s Annual Meetings
and Exhibits from 2023 through 2026.

Not that I have anything against Texas but I was looking forward to Louisville for two reasons. First, it would have been easily drivable for me. Second, I could combine it with a couple of days touring the Bourbon Trail which is what we did the last time it was in Louisville.

I guess the plus side for me is that the credit I got for my canceled flights won’t be wasted.

NRA Annual Meeting In Houston Canceled

The 2021 NRA Annual Meeting scheduled for Labor Day Weekend in Houston has been canceled. The official reason given was due to COVID-19.

The email sent out to the Board of Directors from NRA President Carolyn Meadows included this announcement:

Due to concern over the safety of our NRA family and community, we regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel the 2021 Annual Meeting & Exhibits. This cancellation applies to all events and meetings that were scheduled in Houston. We will provide future notification regarding a rescheduled date for the annual Meeting of Members.
We make this difficult decision after analyzing relevant data regarding COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas. We also consulted with medical professionals, local officials, major sponsors & exhibitors, and many NRA members before arriving at this decision. The NRA Annual Meeting welcomes tens of thousands of people, and involves many events, meetings, and social gatherings. Among the highlights of our annual meeting are acres of exhibit space featuring the latest and greatest firearms, the display of countless accessories, and the offering of adventures and group gatherings that many travel hundreds, and some even thousands, of miles to experience. We realize that it would prove difficult, if not impossible, to offer the full guest experience that our NRA members deserve.    The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters.  We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications. Those are among the reasons why we decided to cancel our 2021 event.
We would like to thank our members, attendees, exhibitors, and staff for their understanding and support. We are grateful for the many contributions of the George R. Brown Convention Center, state and local officials, community organizers, area hotels, and countless event venues across Houston. We receive enormous support from Houston and the State of Texas – and we hope to return to the Bayou City for a full annual meeting experience.
The NRA looks forward to a Celebration of Freedom in Louisville in May 2022. In the meantime, we will support many other NRA local events and smaller gatherings – in a manner that is protective of our members and celebrates our Second Amendment freedom.    
We wish continued health and safety to our entire NRA family. 

I hate to say it but I’m kind of relieved. I just wasn’t feeling the excitement about it that I normally do. I’ll miss seeing some friends but more were probably staying away.

Randy Luth’s Shot Across Wayne’s Bow

Randy Luth was the founder of DPMS/Panther Arms and is the president of Luth-AR. I have a Luth MBA-1 buttstock on my “Charlie Foxtrot” DMR AR-15. He has been in the AR end of the firearms industry a long time. He is also no fan of Wayne LaPierre and wants him gone for the benefit of the NRA.

He sent an open letter that has been published in The Outdoor Wires series of online publications. He says something needs to be done to capture the attention of the go-along, get-along NRA Board of Directors as it is obvious that Wayne LaPierre is not going to step down on his own. His suggestion is an industry and member boycott of the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Houston over Labor Day weekend. The Annual Meeting is a big money generator for the NRA from booth rentals and the fundraising events.

Here is Mr. Luth’s open letter:

Dear Friends and 2nd Amendment Supporters:

Wayne LaPierre- Go Away!

After watching this train wreck over the last 2 years, it is time for the firearms industry to assist in removing Wayne LaPierre from our beloved NRA.

As the bankruptcy proceedings have confirmed, there is a direct lack of leadership at the Executive level as well as the lackluster Board of Directors.

The members of the NRA donate hard-earned money to support the strongest amendment in the Bill of Rights, that would be the 2nd Amendment, not the 1st. When the NRA executives are living like Kings and Queens at the expense of working members, it is long past the time for removal or retirement of the Royalty.

Just think to the lobbying efforts and Pro-gun efforts that could have been initiated if LaPierre and his sidekicks had not caused the many lawsuits and distress within the NRA. It appears the NRA has paid attorneys close to $100,000,000 on the many lawsuits in the last few years. How can any nonprofit organization be involved in that many lawsuits?

It has become obvious the LaPierre will not step down, so it is time to help him make that decision. I propose that the firearms industry and the members boycott the upcoming annual convention/meeting in Houston over the Labor Day weekend. Exhibitors can boycott by either not attending or not setting up a booth. Members can boycott simply by not attending at all.

This proactive protest will send a strong message and may help LaPierre and his followers to pack their bags and depart. This is the only way to save the NRA, we need new Leadership and new ideas. How can there be 100,000,000-gun owners in America and less than 5 million members? I believe the reason is lack of leadership and marketing.

As a Lifetime member of the NRA and a member of the Hunters Leadership Forum, I have suspended all gifting legacy donations as well as HLF donations, in the meantime, I have donated similar dollars to other pro-gun organizations to help fight the fight.

Once new leadership is installed, I will reinstate my donations and support for the NRA, as I have done for 4 decades.

We need the NRA, but we need new Executive leadership and Board of Directors.

I ask that you stand with me. We CAN and WILL be heard loud and clear. We can right this sinking ship. Begin the Boycott!

-Randy E. Luth

I have heard many people express doubt that the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibition will actually happen. I don’t know but I’d for sure get a room and flight with free cancellation! I probably will go if only to be there if it does come off to be a thorn in the side to the powers that be.

I do wonder how many Texas politicians will find scheduling conflicts when it comes to the NRA’s Leadership Forum. If I were Ted Cruz or John Cornyn or Greg Abbott, I think I might have other pressing matters that called for my attention.

2021 NRA Annual Meeting Moved To September

In a post made today at NRA Family, it was announced that the date of the 2021 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits has been moved to Labor Day Weekend. Originally scheduled for mid-May in Houston, it will still remain in Houston but 3 1/2 months later.

From NRA Family:

The National Rifle Association’s 2021 Annual Meetings and Exhibits will be held September 3-5, 2021. Originally scheduled for mid-May, the event will remain in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center. 

As many uncertainties around COVID-19 restrictions persist, the National Rifle Association rescheduled its 150th Anniversary celebration to help members and exhibitors make the necessary plans to attend. Approximately 850 exhibitors will provide an exhibit hall that offers attendees a one of a kind experience with thousands of firearms on display from all their favorite manufacturers.  

The 150th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits is open and free to all NRA members. Some events require a ticket, which can be ordered in advance. Members should watch their monthly membership magazine or go to for updates and the latest information.