The coronavirus pandemic has claimed yet another large event. The National Rifle Association has canceled its three-day annual meeting, which was set to begin in Houston on Sept. 3.
“Due to concern over the safety of our NRA family and community, we regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel the 2021 Annual Meeting & Exhibits. This cancellation applies to all events and meetings that were scheduled in Houston. We will provide future notification regarding a rescheduled date for the annual Meeting of Members,” the organization said in a statement released Tuesday.
The event would have marked the group’s 150th anniversary.
“We make this difficult decision after analyzing relevant data regarding COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas. We also consulted with medical professionals, local officials, major sponsors and exhibitors, and many NRA members before arriving at this decision,” the statement said.
The gathering has drawn as many as 50,000 attendees in past years and has been ranked as one of the nation’s largest events — known for abundant exhibits, entertainment, demonstrations and social gatherings.
“We realize that it would prove difficult, if not impossible, to offer the full guest experience that our NRA members deserve. The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters,” the organization said.
Plans for a 2022 meeting are already underway, however. A “Celebration of Freedom” will take place in Louisville, Kentucky in May 2022.