Comes as many Republican elected officials have pulled out of the meeting
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke addressed hundreds of protesters in Houston outside of the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting, calling for action on gun legislation after a shooting in Uvalde left 21 people dead.
“So I ask you for those of you in power and who hold office right now and were in the way and refuse to act: Please promise me you will get in their faces before another child is shot in their face,” he told protesters.
Mr O’Rourke is currently running against Republican Governor Greg Abbott. Mr O’Rourke interrupted Mr Abbott during a press event after the shooting on Wednesday.
Protesters in Houston shouted “shame” across from the George R Brown Convention Center where the National Rifle Association is hosting its annual meeting.
Lauren McGaughy of The Dallas Morning News tweeted a video of protesters shouting “shame” outside of the convention center, which is holdings its annual meeting just days after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos shooting in Uvalde, Texas shot and killed 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School.
Ms McGaughy said she had not seen many elected officials outside of the convention center or heading into the complex though she did see Democratic state representative Gene Wu handing water to protesters.
Many elected officials who were previously booked to speak at the meeting are no longer doing so. John Cornyn, the state’s senior Senator and a Republican, said he was already planning not speak because of a scheduling conflict and has since become the Republican point person to negotiate with Democrats on gun legislation. Governor Greg Abbott announced he would only deliver pre-recorded remarks.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said while he supports gun rights, he did not want to cause any additional pain to victims in Uvalde and would not speak at the NRA’s breakfast.
The only major speakers who are still slated to speak are South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson and former president Donald Trump.