A growing number of celebrities and politicians will draw back plans to attend the National Rifle Association's 2022 Annual Leadership Forum as the nation mourns the mass killing at Robb Elementary School in Texas.

At least eight major figures are either skipping the conference altogether or scaling down their appearances at the event, which will take place in Houston from May 27–29, roughly 280 miles away from Robb Elementary School.


Politicians who are skipping the convention completely:

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) informed the NRA on Tuesday he would not be able to attend the convention due to scheduling conflicts with his trip to Ukraine, Fox News reported.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) will be in Washington, D.C., on Friday instead of attending the annual NRA meeting.

"Prior to the tragedy today in Uvalde, we had already informed the NRA he would not be able to speak due to [an] unexpected change in his schedule," a spokesperson told Politico. "He now has to be in D.C. for personal reasons on Friday."

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick planned to attend the conference but reversed course in the wake of the Uvalde shooting.

"After prayerful consideration and discussion with NRA officials, I have decided not to speak at the NRA breakfast this morning," Patrick said in a statement per the Dallas Morning News. "While a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and an NRA member, I would not want my appearance today to bring any additional pain or grief to the families and all those suffering in Uvalde."

Celebrities who are skipping the convention completely:

Don McLean, known for singing "American Pie," was slated to perform at the convention but backed out after the tragic shooting.

"In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week," McLean said in a statement received by the Washington Examiner.

Lee Greenwood, who sang "God Bless the USA," joined McLean in dropping plans to perform at the conference out of respect for those mourning the loss of loved ones in Uvalde.

"As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas. I was scheduled to perform at NRA's private event on Saturday with my band," Greenwood said in a statement. "After thoughtful consideration, we have decided to cancel the appearance out of respect for those mourning the loss of those innocent children and teachers in Uvalde."

Larry Gatlin, a famed country singer, also canned his planned performance but went a step further than others by calling for more robust background checks as a means of curbing gun violence.

"I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, I have come to believe that, while background checks would not stop every madman with a gun, it is at the very least a step in the right direction toward trying to prevent the kind of tragedy we saw this week in Uvalde — in my beloved, weeping TEXAS," he explained in a statement, per Variety.

Larry Stewart, famous for leading the band Restless Heart, reaffirmed his belief in gun rights but announced he was pulling back from the NRA gathering in response to the mass school shooting.

"Due to the tragedy in Uvalde with the horrific school shooting and children who died, I want to honor the victims, families, the town, and our friends in the great state of Texas the best I know how. So I have made the decision to pull out as a performer for the NRA convention this weekend, especially given the event is just down the road. I'm a strong believer in the 2nd Amendment, and I know the NRA is a great organization who teaches strict gun safety," he said, according to Variety.

Figures who scaled down their plans:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott dropped plans to appear at the NRA gathering in person but opted to deliver pre-recorded remarks instead so he could address the gun rights advocacy group and visit Uvalde officials and residents Friday.

Notable people who still plan to attend:

Former President Donald Trump held tight to his plan to speak at the conference.

"America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship," he said in a post on Truth Social on Wednesday. "That's why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America. In the meantime, we all continue to pray for the victims, their families, and for our entire nation — we are all in this together."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a staunch supporter of gun rights, announced he still plans to attend the forum.

"I'm going to be there because what Democrats and the press try to do in the wake of every mass shooting is they try to demonize law-abiding gun owners, try to demonize the NRA," Cruz said.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem confirmed she still plans to attend the conference despite recent events, according to Argus Leader.

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is still scheduled to speak at the conference and made no announcement about changed plans in light of recent events, WRAL reported.


The NRA's leadership forum over the Memorial Day weekend will be one of its largest mass gatherings in nearly three years, following a hiatus spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will be prohibited from brandishing firearms, knives, backpacks, selfie sticks, and other weapons.

The gathering will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center and be exclusive to the group's 5 million members.