Republican Texas gov Abbott to address NRA meet via video – NBC News

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FILE PHOTO: The day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas

(Reuters) – Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott will not attend in person the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting starting on Friday, days after the elementary school shooting in Uvalde in which 19 children and two teachers were killed, NBC News reported.

The NRA’s convention starts in Houston, where Republicans including U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former President Donald Trump are scheduled to address the gun-rights group.

Abbott will now address the group with recorded video remarks and will make a return trip to Uvalde, NBC News said on Thursday, citing a statement from his spokesman. He will hold a news conference there after a meeting with state and local officials, as well as town residents.

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The recent shootings have re-ignited a national debate over U.S. gun laws, with the Uvalde massacre coming just 10 days after an avowed white supremacist shot 13 people at a supermarket in a mostly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.

President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats have vowed to push for new gun restrictions, despite resistance from Republicans. Biden is due to travel to Uvalde on Sunday.

Abbott, who is seeking re-election in November, has said that stringent gun laws do not prevent violence, citing states such as New York, and that policymakers should instead focus on mental health treatment and prevention.

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Both the NRA and Abbott’s office did not respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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