Donald Trump Will Headline NRA Event in Houston 3 Days After Texas School Shooting

·4 min read
US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas on January 12, 2021
US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas on January 12, 2021

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty

Donald Trump is scheduled to headline a forum at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Houston on Friday, three days after a gunman killed 19 students, a teacher and another adult at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The NRA previously announced Trump's participation as a headliner at its Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum, taking place on Friday.

"It is truly an honor to have President Trump address NRA members for the sixth time," NRA Executive Vice President & CEO Wayne LaPierre said in a statement. "NRA members are excited to hear him speak and thank him for his support for our right to keep and bear arms."

For more on the shooting massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

On Wednesday, Trump confirmed his plans to attend the first day of the event, which will be held at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center May 27th, 28th and 29th.

RELATED: 'This Is a Nightmare': Uvalde Residents React to Elementary School Massacre

"America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship," he wrote in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social. "That's why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America. In the meantime, we all continue to pray for the victims, their families, and for our entire nation — we are all in this together!"

Other prominent Republicans, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are also expected to attend on Friday.

Reps for Abbott and Cruz did not return PEOPLE's request to confirm their plans to join what organizers called a "celebration of Second Amendment rights."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Cruz tweeted Wednesday, saying he and his wife Heidi Cruz were "fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde" and thanking law enforcement and first responders.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty

The Uvalde gunman died after the rampage, and it's believed that police killed him.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York retweeted his post and asked about Cruz's attendance at the NRA event.

RELATED: Texas Shooting Suspect Locked Himself Inside Classroom Where All Victims Were Found: Official

"Aren't you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days — in Houston, no less?" she wrote. "You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead."

President Joe Biden expressed anguish over the Uvalde shooting on Tuesday and the loss of so many young lives.

"Beautiful, innocent second, third, and fourth graders. How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened, see their friends die, as if they're in a battlefield for God's sake?" Biden asked at the top of his nearly eight-minute address.

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 24, 2022, after a gunman shot dead 18 young children at an elementary school in Texas. - US President Joe Biden on Tuesday called for Americans to stand up against the country's powerful pro-gun lobby after a gunman shot dead 18 young children at an elementary school in Texas. "When, in God's name, are we going to stand up to the gun lobby," he said in an address from the White House. "It's time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen of this country. We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: it's time to act." (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 24, 2022, after a gunman shot dead 18 young children at an elementary school in Texas. - US President Joe Biden on Tuesday called for Americans to stand up against the country's powerful pro-gun lobby after a gunman shot dead 18 young children at an elementary school in Texas. "When, in God's name, are we going to stand up to the gun lobby," he said in an address from the White House. "It's time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen of this country. We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: it's time to act." (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

STEFANI REYNOLDS/getty

"As a nation, we have to ask, when in God's name are we going to stand up to gun lobbying? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut that needs to be done?" he also said. "I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage."

RELATED: 'Fathers Smashed Windows and Pulled Kids Out': First Responders Recount Horror of Uvalde Shooting

With plans moving forward for three days of seminars, speeches, entertainment and even a concert by "American Pie" singer Don McLean, the event's website offers a look at what's on offer at the NRA's annual meeting.

Among the activities listed on the event's website is "the NRA Foundation's popular Wall of Guns."

"A $20 ticket gives you the chance to win a prize from the wall featuring over 60 firearms," reads the event's page on the site.

"The Exhibit Hall is open all three days and will showcase over 14 acres of the latest guns and gear from the most popular companies in the Industry," reads a description of the events. "From entertainment to special events, it's all happening in Houston over Memorial Day weekend. Make plans now to join fellow Second Amendment patriots for a freedom-filled weekend for the entire family as we celebrate Freedom, Firearms, and the Second Amendment!"

The school district in Uvalde has opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. People can send checks through the mail (payable to the "Robb School Memorial Fund") or donate money through Zelle to robbschoolmemorialfund@gmail.comPeople can also donate by calling 830-356-2273.

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