INDIANAPOLIS – As the National Rifle Association opens its 148th Annual Meetings (NRAAM) in downtown Indianapolis, the eyes of the nation will turn to the American Midwest today.
President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will be the focus of much of that attention during the Friday, April 26 opening of the NRAAM as they both give addresses at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum. The event will be held in the spacious confines of Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.
The appearance by Trump has become a regular event at the NRAAM, giving the President an opportunity to once again champion the gun rights of Americans and discuss his administration’s stance on the Second Amendment as the rhetoric gets turned up in the sprint to the 2020 election.
“Donald Trump is the most enthusiastic supporter of the Second Amendment to occupy the Oval Office in our lifetime,” said Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA-ILA, in a press release statement. “It is truly an honor to have President Trump address NRA members for the fifth consecutive year.
“President Trump’s Supreme Court appointments ensure that the Second Amendment will be respected for generations to come,” Cox continued. “Our members are excited to hear him speak and thank him for his support for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”
Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre echoed those sentiments in the official program for the NRAAM.
“In the last presidential election, we achieved a truly historic victory,” LaPierre wrote to those attending. “President Donald Trump defied all the expert predictions and became one of the most pro-Second Amendment presidents in history. In two years, President Trump has appointed a record number of judges to the federal bench and placed pro-Second Amendment Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the United States Supreme Court.”
In addition to Trump and Pence, others that are scheduled to speak at the NRA-ILA on Friday include: Cox in his ongoing role as the NRA-ILA Executive Director; LaPierre in his role as executive VP of the NRA; NRA President Lt. Col. Oliver North; Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb; Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin;U.S. Senator Mike Braun (IN); U.S. Senator Todd Young (IN); U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX); U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (LA); and Turning Point USA Director of Communications Candace Owens.
But there will be plenty more to the 148th NRAAM than just the President and Vice President speaking.
Following a rousing NRA Foundation BBQ and Auction on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, this year’s NRAAM in Indy will go on to feature the 13th annual Women’s Leadership Forum, Luncheon, and Auction; a National Prayer Breakfast; the NRA Youth Day; and the sixth annual Women’s New Energy Breakfast.
There will also be a slew of seminars, gatherings, celebrity appearances, and meetings on the show floor as well, not to mention good music and live entertainment as downtown Indy hosts the NRAAM. The latter includes Friday’s NRA Country Jam with Jacob Bryant and special guest Payton Taylor and a special performance by legendary country music superstar Alan Jackson at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, April 27.
As a consumer-oriented show with more than 800 exhibitors occupying the show floor at the Indiana Convention Center, more than 80,000 people are expected to attend the event this weekend, a figure that would make this year's NRAAM among the biggest in the NRA's long history. Other large crowds have been seen at the event in recent years, including the 146th gathering in Atlanta two years ago and at the 147th gathering in Dallas last year.
In a Midwestern location that is often home to the annual Archery Trade Show — including early next year in January 2020 — downtown Indy is used to the outdoor and shooting industry descending upon its Canal Walk district. This year’s NRAAM visit will see a number of new product releases unveiled on one of the biggest showcase floors outside of the early year trade shows.
This year, such industry leaders like Beretta, Trijicon, Ruger, and others are expected to bring new items to market. Many of those will be unveiled in live social media posts, as well as postings on websites like this one.
From the show’s opening bell on Friday morning to its close on Sunday afternoon, Outdoor Sportsman Group will be here as we cover the 148th NRAAM like no other. Look to OSG’s websites and social media accounts as talent like Outdoor Channel’s Michael Bane and others bring you the latest from downtown Indy.
There’s a lot that will happen this weekend at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings and OSG has descended upon downtown Indy in force to make sure readers and viewers have a seat at the table as the nation looks on.