National Rifle Association members gather today in Orlando for their annual meeting, an event expected to draw 50,000 attendees and protetsers of various stripes. The NRA will honor its president, Charlton Heston, who is retiring after nearly five years, and will hear Gov. Jeb Bush deliver a keynote speech on Saturday, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The association also will discuss its efforts to have Congress curb suits against gun manufacturers and to end the 10-year-old federal ban on certain assault-style weapons.
In the 2002 election cycle, the Sentinel reports, the NRA spent $10.9 million on congressional campaigns. More than 90 percent went to Republicans. Gun-control groups gave $1.5 million to congressional candidates, with 94 percent going to Democrats.
Several hundred gun-control advocates are expected to protest the NRA’s positions, as well as self-described Ku Klux Klan members who say they will protest the protesters.