Multiple Republican speakers pull out of Houston NRA meeting after Uvalde shooting

John Cornyn, Dan Patrick, Dan Crenshaw all pulled out of the conference in Houston.

Multiple Republican elected officials from Texas pulled out the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston after a shooting in Uvalde left 19 children and two adults dead.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was the latest to announce he would not attend the annual meeting.

“After prayerful consideration and discussion with NRA officials, I have decided not speak at the NRA breakfast this morning,” he said in a statement.

“While a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and an NRA member, I would not want my appearance today to bring any pain or grief to the families and all those suffering in Uvalde,” he said.

Similarly, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he would not attend personally but would deliver a pre-recorded address, according to the Texas Tribune.

Senator John Cornyn announced on Tuesday immediately after the shooting that he would cancel his appearance in Houston because of a scheduling conflict.

“Prior to the tragedy today in Uvalde we had already informed the NRA he would not be able to speak due to a unexpected change in his schedule. He now has to be in D.C. for personal reasons on Friday.”

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN that he had instructed Mr Cornyn to begin negotiations with Senators Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on legislation to curb gun violence.

“I met with Senator Cornyn this morning. As you know he went home yesterday to see the family members and begin the fact finding of this awful massacre and I have encouraged him to talk with Sen. Murphy and Sen. Sinema and others who are interested in trying to get an outcome that is directly related to the problem. I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution,” he said.

Representative Dan Crenshaw, who represents the Houston area, also announced he would not attend after he was initially scheduled to do so. Mr Crenshaw’s office told Fox News that the congressman would not make it back to Houston from his trip to Ukraine in time for the conference.

The exodus of Republicans means that so far, the only major Republicans to speak at the annual meeting are Senator Ted Cruz, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and former president Donald Trump.

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