Texas governor Greg Abbott to skip NRA convention and visit Uvalde instead amid pressure over pro-guns stance

National Rifle Association’s spokesperson says governor will pre-record message

Related video: Governor Abbott says Texas school shooting ‘could have been worse’

Texas governor Greg Abbott will not be attending the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Houston following the school shooting this week, his office said late on Thursday, and will instead visit Uvalde again.

Mr Abbott was set to speak at the NRA leadership forum on Friday, but a new advisory issued by his office late on Thursday did not mention the convention.

Instead, it said the governor will be going to the town where Tuesday’s shooting took place, and holding a press conference “on state’s ongoing efforts to support the Uvalde community”.

Mr Abbott will hold the news conference at 3.30pm, the governor’s office announced.

The National Rifle Association’s spokesperson has said that the governor will still pre-record remarks on video to be aired at the gun group’s event, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“The governor will be addressing the NRA through pre-recorded video,” said spokesman Mark Miner.

The NRA’s online schedule for the event still shows Mr Abbott as a speaker and does not specify it as a recorded speech.

The second visit of the governor to the grieving southern city will come amid increasing calls for new gun controls in the US after an 18-year-old shot and killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School there on Tuesday.

Several other Republican politicians have also cancelled their visit to the NRA event under mounting public pressure. Senator John Cornyn and representative Dan Crenshaw, two other high-profile Texas Republicans who were also slated to attend the event, have backed out. They claimed this was due to a scheduling conflict.

A number of top Republicans are still due to speak, including former president Donald Trump, senator Ted Cruz of Texas and South Dakota G=governor Kristi Noem.

Mr Trump said in a statement on Wednesday that he would keep his “longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America”.

Mr Abbott, who is seeking a third term this year, has been a supporter of gun rights like many conservatives. However, the stance is coming increasingly under fire with rising incidents of school shootings in the US.

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