NRA Convention Starts Friday in Houston, Features Gun Show of “Firearm Industry’s Latest and Greatest Products,” Including NRA “Corporate Partners” That Manufactured Guns Used in Newtown, Aurora, and Other Mass Shootings

Large Portions of NRA Convention Sponsored by Firearms Industry, Gun Show Includes Major Vendors of Smokeless and Black Powder, the Type of Explosives Suspected in Boston Marathon Bombing

Since 1970s NRA Has Worked Successfully to Stop Federal Regulation of Black and Smokeless Powder New VPC Report Reveals

Washington, DC–Beginning this Friday, May 3, 2013, the National Rifle Association (NRA) will meet in Houston, Texas, for its annual convention, the public centerpiece of which is, according to the NRA, “the most spectacular displays of firearms, shooting and hunting accessories in the world.” Gun companies participating in this show of the “firearm industry’s latest and greatest products” include the manufacturers of the assault rifles used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 students and six educators dead (Bushmaster, Booth 3834) and the Aurora theater shooting that left 12 dead and 58 injured (Smith & Wesson, Booth 2711).

VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann, a native of Newtown, Connecticut, and the author of the book NRA: Money, Firepower & Fear states, “The centerpiece of the NRA convention is no longer the meeting of its members, but a gun exhibit to benefit its ‘corporate partners.’ While the NRA celebrates the gun industry’s ‘latest and greatest’ products, the victims of gun violence mourn the lives and communities devastated by them.”

Also present at the gun industry show will be major smokeless and black powder vendors. As detailed in the new VPC study Time Bomb: How the NRA Blocked the Regulation of Black and Smokeless Powder to the Benefit of its Gun Industry “Corporate Partners” Today (http://www.vpc.org/studies/timebomb.pdf), since the 1970s the NRA has worked to stop the federal regulation of black and smokeless powder, including background checks on transfers. This decades-long campaign today benefits the NRA’s gun industry “corporate partners” that help fund the organization, including convention sponsor MidwayUSA (founded by NRA top corporate donor Larry Potterfield) and Brownells (owned by NRA board member Pete Brownell). According to numerous news reports, black or smokeless powder are among the explosives suspected to have been used in the Boston bombing. [A prior VPC report, Blood Money, detailed for the first time how the NRA receives millions of dollars from the gun industry through a “corporate partners” program that, according to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, represents “an opportunity for corporations to partner with the NRA….This program is geared toward your company’s corporate interests.”]

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