The National Rifle Association on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the organization’s 2021 annual meeting, which was scheduled to take place in Houston next week.
In a statement, the organization wrote that the decision was made after reviewing data regarding COVID-19 in Harris County, which has rapidly spread among the region’s unvaccinated population over the past month due to the delta variant. According to the NRA, the risk to public safety caused by the pandemic would prevent organizers from offering “the full guest experience.”
“We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications,” the statement read. This is the second year in a row the meeting has been canceled, after last year’s planned get-together in Nashville was also canceled. The organization said it looked forward to meeting in Louisville in May 2022.
The NRA convention attracts around 85,0000 people along with millions of dollars of revenue. The cancellation marks a major loss for Houston’s convention industry, which has been slowly recovering since the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year. The 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was one of the first events to fall to the pandemic, and was followed by several other Houston events — including this year’s Rodeo.
“We look forward to welcoming the NRA back to Houston for a future annual meeting,” Houston First President and CEO Michael Heckman wrote in an emailed statement. “So far this year, Houston has hosted more than 50 safe and successful meetings and conventions. We look forward to working with meeting professionals and show organizers as the industry continues its rebound. Houston continues to be open for business.”