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NC lieutenant governor, an NRA board member, speaking at gun group's Texas convention

Posted May 25, 2022 6:11 p.m. EDT
Updated May 26, 2022 6:44 p.m. EDT

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is scheduled to speak Friday as part of the National Rifle Association's annual meetings in Texas.

The event comes three days after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The NRA event is in Houston, some 275 miles away.

Robinson rose to prominence after an impassioned gun rights speech he gave to the Greensboro City Council in 2018, which followed the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and a subsequent council discussion about canceling a gun show at the city's convention center.

Robinson, a Republican in his first term, is an NRA board member and part of the gun rights group's Friday leadership forum, according to an online schedule.

WRAL News reached out to Robinson's office several times Wednesday to confirm his travel plans and seek comment. His office didn't provide a comment, other than to say a statement would be forthcoming.

Robinson's spokesman responded with a statement Thursday morning and said he believed the lieutenant governor would still be traveling to the NRA meetings.

“The shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was evil—pure and simple," Robinson said in the statement. "The parents and family members who are without their loved ones and grieving—we are praying for you, and we grieve with you.

"No parent should have to fear that when they drop off their child in the morning, they won't be coming home that afternoon," he continued. "As a father, I know the love a parent has for their child, and I can only imagine the pain of losing a child in such a horrendous event. Such a loss is beyond comprehension for those of us that have not experienced it.

"Please join me in prayer for the victims of this tragedy, the community of Uvalde, and our nation,” Robinson said.

The NRA's annual meetings will also feature speeches from former President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Trump's and Robinson's inclusion in the program shows that "they stand with the gun lobby over our children," North Carolina Democratic Party Spokesperson Ellie Dougherty said in a statement Wednesday.

"Thoughts and prayers are not enough" Dougherty said. "Mark Robinson and the North Carolina Republican Party are beholden to the NRA instead of protecting our children.”

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