Citing COVID, the National Rifle Association on Tuesday canceled plans to hold the member organization's annual meeting and exhibits in Houston, Texas, in September. 

The 150th anniversary celebration for the 5-million-member group, founded in 1871 by Union Army Veterans, was set to be held over the upcoming Labor Day weekend at the 1.8 million-square-foot George R. Brown Convention Center. However, this week the group pulled the plug on the event, citing “concerns over the safety of our NRA family and community” after looking at data regarding COVID-19 in the Houston area.

The NRA Annual Meeting welcomes tens of thousands of people, and involves many events, meetings, and social gatherings. Among the highlights of our annual meeting are acres of exhibit space featuring the latest and greatest firearms, the display of countless accessories, and the offering of adventures and group gatherings that many travel hundreds, and some even thousands, of miles to experience. 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. 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. Those are among the reasons why we decided to cancel our 2021 event.

The group plans to hold its 151st NRAAM in Louisville, Kentucky, a city that last hosted the event in 2016. 

The 149th NRAAM, set for April 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee, was canceled by the group considering the COVID outbreak and resulting lockdowns and then later downsized to a much smaller meeting in Springfield, Missouri. The 148th NRAAM in 2019 was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, featuring 880 exhibitors – including – and drew over 80,000 attendees.  

Banner image: A snapshot of a portion of the exhibit hall in a past NRA Annual Meeting (Photo: Chris Eger/

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