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NRA

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, infamous for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s, will be the next president of the National Rifle Association, the organization says in a statement.

From Texas Standard.

Over the weekend, an estimated 80,000 people descended on the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas for the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting – over 900 firearms and gun-related vendors, along with politicians from President Trump to Governor Greg Abbott. The event was a window into an organization that, in the wake of shootings such as Parkland and Sutherland Springs, has been under increased scrutiny.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT News

While women and mothers have played a big role in pushing gun control into the national spotlight, they’re also a demographic the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers are courting.

Thousands of gun enthusiasts have walked into Dallas' Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to revel in displays of firearms and hunting accessories at the National Rifle Association's annual convention — but some crowds are staying outside to protest what they believe is a dire problem in America.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Dallas City Hall Plaza had plenty of foot traffic Saturday, first from students and gun reform advocates in the morning — and later from counter-protesters in the early afternoon.

Both demonstrations were planned in light of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, held across the street at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News

An estimated 80,000 people are expected to come through the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center while the National Rifle Association’s convention is in Dallas. The NRA bills itself as the largest celebration of the right to bear arms replete with speeches from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. But there’s another big focus of the event: commerce.

Susan Walsh / AP

Last updated, 3:55 p.m. 

President Donald Trump assured attendees of the National Rifle Association’s Leadership Forum Friday that his administration is fighting to protect their constitutional right to bear arms.

Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio (left); Krystina Martinez / KERA News (right)

With the National Rifle Association's annual meeting kicking into high gear today in Dallas, KERA sat down for Friday Conversations with two women on opposite sides of the gun debate. 

President Trump will speak at the National Rifle Association's annual convention on Friday, a little more than two months after he pledged to stand up to the gun rights organization in the aftermath of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

The National Rifle Association's annual meeting begins Friday in Dallas, and some members of the organization plan to voice their discontent with the positions the NRA has taken in the past year.

Lifetime member Tim Harmsen, the owner of Copper Custom Gun Shop in Valparaiso, Ind., and the creator and host of the Military Arms Channel on YouTube, says he's bringing boxes of T-shirts that reflect his disappointment.

Mark Humphrey / AP

Registration begins Thursday for the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, which is at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas.

Tens of thousands of gun owners are gathering in Dallas for the National Rifle Association's annual convention, as the group's leadership rallies its rank-and-file in a political climate altered by the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and the student protests that followed.

The aftermath of the mass shooting, which cost 17 lives, makes this an important moment for the NRA. While its leaders remain insistent that more gun control will not stop such carnage, some acknowledge a shift in the way the country is talking about firearms.

As attendees of the National Rifle Association's annual convention ride on the interstate this week from the Dallas airport to their convention hall, they might look out the window to see a billboard questioning why the group has "cozied up" with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Victims of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting and their parents are criticizing the National Rifle Association after it announced that gun advocates won't be allowed to bring weapons to watch Vice President Pence deliver the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action's leadership forum keynote address in Dallas on Friday.

The NRA says the ban was ordered by the U.S. Secret Service.

Allison V. Smith for the Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump will visit Dallas later this week to speak at the National Rifle Association's annual convention there, according to a White House official. 

YETI called "inaccurate" a statement from the National Rifle Association that it would no longer sell its products to The NRA Foundation, adding that it is "unwavering" in its support for the Second Amendment.

Lately, the NRA has relied heavily on videos to communicate with the public and its supporters, and video is how it announced its position on legislation to temporarily remove guns from people thought to pose a threat.

Updated at 10:25 p.m. ET

A prominent Kremlin-linked Russian politician has methodically cultivated ties with leaders of the National Rifle Association and documented efforts in real time over six years to leverage those connections and gain deeper access into American politics, NPR has learned.

Russian politician Alexander Torshin said his ties to the NRA provided him access to Donald Trump — and the opportunity to serve as a foreign election observer in the United States during the 2012 election.

Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET

During a gathering with governors at the White House, President Trump called for strengthening school defenses and improving the "early warning" system in response to this month's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"Our nation is heartbroken," Trump said. "We'll turn our grief into action."

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center / Facebook

In light of the recent school shooting in Florida, a top elected official in Dallas is asking the NRA to hold its convention elsewhere this spring.

There was a time when the National Rifle Association was known primarily for promoting gun safety and advocating for gun ownership for hunting and home protection.

But that seems a long time ago.

It still does those things, to be sure, but these days the NRA is far more recognizable as an uncompromising political force, aggressively defending its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, while working to defeat any and all politicians it views as its enemy.

NRA/YouTube

A National Rifle Association executive says it was a mistake to criticize Texas gun rights advocates who have been carrying military-style assault rifles in public places around the state.

City of Farmers Branch / Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Farmers Branch ends its legal battle over controversial immigration rental ordinance; the NRA says it made a mistake in criticizing Texas open-carry supporters; an East Texas woman used a dead catfish to hit her sister-in-law; and more.

KUT and Twitter/@SocialMatchbox and @davidb00ts

The National Rifle Association isn’t too happy with folks who are carrying rifles in restaurants in Texas.

Humans of New York/Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: what did a Dallas-area man say about his family that generated so much Facebook attention?; NRA isn't happy with folks who carry guns into Texas restaurants; the mad dash for cash in Victory Park went well last night; and more.