The nation's largest gun lobby Monday brushed aside criticism from a Dallas city council member calling for the National Rifle Association to move its annual convention out of Dallas.
Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway told reporters Monday the NRA would be "met with opposition" if they continue with the planned event from May 4-6 in downtown Dallas.
"There will be marches and demonstrations should they come to Dallas," Caraway said.
Caraway stopped short of calling for a vote on a resolution that would formalize the city's opposition to the expected 80,000 attendees and estimated $40 million in revenue for the city over three days.
"It is a tough call when you ask the NRA to reconsider coming to Dallas," Caraway said.
The NRA is scheduled to host their annual meeting at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention. The group’s annual meetings will include national elected officials participating in leadership meetings, along with exhibits that will include the selling of guns.
Andrew Arulanandam with the NRA told News 8 the group is ready to return to Texas for the first time since the annual convention was held in Houston in 2013.
"No politician anywhere can tell the NRA not to come to their city," Arulanandam said. "We are already there. Dallas, like every American city and community, is populated by NRA members. Our members work in fire stations and police departments. They save lives in local hospitals and own businesses in communities urban and rural throughout this country."
Caraway's push to ask the NRA to move is not shared by fellow council members WFAA spoke with on Monday.
District 13 council member Jennifer Staubach Gates said while she doesn't agree with every aspect of the NRA stance on gun legislation, it's clear the group has a right to hold the convention in Dallas.
“They’re constitutionally protected to be in the convention center," Staubach Gates said. "It’s a public building. We can’t be in the business to censor who uses that building.”
Caraway says the May event is not appropriate following the Florida school shooing and events that have happened in Dallas like JFK's assassination, five Dallas police officers that were gunned down in July 2016 and the fatal shooting of a Dallas mother of six in November.
NRA exhibits that will be held during the group's Dallas meetings will include the legal selling of guns.