Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway is telling the National Rifle Association to consider holding its annual convention this spring somewhere else, warning of protests if the event is held in Dallas as planned.
"I am saying to the NRA, reconsider coming to Dallas,” Caraway reportedly said Monday, five days after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school. “There will be marches and demonstrations should they come to Dallas.”
The NRA has been criticized in the aftermath of the massacre by critics who say the gun-rights group is keeping lawmakers in Washington and across the country from passing measures that would curb gun violence.
“Our members work in fire stations and police departments,” the NRA said in response to Caraway’s comments. “They save lives in local hospitals and own businesses in communities urban and rural throughout this country. No politician anywhere can tell the NRA not to come to their city. We are already there.”
The annual NRA conventions, which include meetings and exhibits, routinely draw tens of thousands of gun enthusiasts. This year’s event is set for May 4-6 in Dallas’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
Caraway on Monday also mentioned the ambush murder of five Dallas police officers in July 2016 and invoked the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination in Dallas, according to Fox 4 News.
He said he believes in Second Amendment rights and owns five guns but argued NRA officials, if they come to Dallas, should work with local leaders on changing laws to increase gun safety.
“It is time for them to stand up,” Caraway said. “And it's time for us to listen and it's time for Trump and every elected official in Washington and USA on every level to stand up and speak out against this type of violence.”
He also said he was not speaking for the city council, of which he is a member.