FORT WORTH, Texas — A congressman who represents a large part of North Texas is asking the National Rifle Association to cancel its convention this weekend in Houston in light of the deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde.
The shooting at Robb Elementary -- in a small city just west of San Antonio -- left 19 children and two adults dead and has set off a fiery debate over gun laws in not only the state of Texas, but in the nation.
Just days after the horrific attack, the NRA is still expected to hold its annual meeting about 275 miles away in Houston from May 27 through May 29.
Political figures such as Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump are expected to speak at the event, as well.
With the event still scheduled, U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33), whose district covers a majority of Fort Worth and areas east including western Dallas, has sent a letter to the NRA, asking them to "stay away from Texas" as people continue to heal.
"As a multigenerational Texan and gun owner, I am asking that you cancel your convention in light of the tragedy that occurred in Uvalde..." Veasey wrote.
The congressman went on to condemn the organization, saying they employ "tactics that have prevented reasonable gun legislation from being enacted that over 90% of the public supports."
"All of your actions are complicit in aiding and abetting terrorists, murders, and sociopaths by allowing them to purchase firearms with relative ease," he wrote.
Authorities said Salvador Ramos, 18, legally bought two AR platform rifles from a local firearms licensee days before shooting and killing 19 students and two teachers at the Uvalde elementary school. According to officials, one of the rifles was in a vehicle Ramos crashed near the school and the other was found inside the school with the suspect.
The NRA released a statement on the school shooting on Wednesday.
"Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime. On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders and others who offered their support and services.
Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal. As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure."
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that the convention will go on as planned.
"The convention has been on the books for more than two years," Turner said during a city council meeting. "It's a contractual arrangement. We simply cannot cancel a conference or convention because we do not agree with the subject matter."