The National Rifle Association, the largest Second Amendment advocacy group in the nation, was planning to hold its 149th annual meeting from April 16 through 19 in Nashville, Tennessee. The organization’s leadership has decided to cancel it, however, due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“This applies to all events and scheduled programs, including the NRA-ILA Forum,” the NRA’s website confirmed.
The NRA hosts the largest such gathering of gun rights advocates in the country. Its annual meetings typically draw many people. Last year’s meeting hosted over 80,000 guests and nearly 900 exhibitors in its convention area.
Tennessee has declared a state of emergency due to the epidemic, which factored into the NRA’s decision.
“We sincerely regret the need for this action, particularly for our many loyal members who join us for this annual celebration of the NRA and our constitutional freedoms,” the NRA said in a statement. “Please know that we did not reach this decision lightly. We were ultimately guided by our responsibility to help ensure the safety and well-being of our NRA members, guests, and surrounding community.”
The NRA’s website said that those who had purchased tickets to events or who had booked hotel rooms through NRA’s Conference Direct could request refunds or would be contacted regarding a refund.
The group promised that while it would not be rescheduling an annual meeting for this year, they would announce information pertaining to a rescheduled members’ meeting as soon as possible. This is where NRA’s official business is determined for the coming year.
The next NRA meeting is scheduled to be held from May 14 through 16 in Houston, Texas.