Congresswoman invites NRA to host its convention in South Dakota instead of Dallas

Published: Feb. 20, 2018 at 8:36 PM CST
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A city leader in Dallas asked the NRA to consider hosting its annual convention in another city.

South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem volunteered the Mount Rushmore state for consideration.

“It is a tough call when you ask the NRA to reconsider coming to Dallas, but it is putting our citizens first, and getting them to come to the table, and elected officials to come to the table, and to address this madness now,” Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway said.

Caraway is calling for stricter gun control laws when it comes to possessing an AR-15.

He also worries about possible protests.

“We, Dallas, will have to be the ones to have to bear the costs, the responsibility, and to protect the citizens,” he said.

“You know, I’m not concerned about that. We don't go into every opportunity looking for what kind of protests there might be, but I think South Dakota would certainly welcome that convention,” Representative Kristi Noem said.

Noem is a candidate in the race for governor.

She is asking the NRA to consider holding the event in South Dakota.

“Oh, I was absolutely serious. We'd love to have the NRA convention here,” she said.

The convention is scheduled to take place in May and is expected to draw 80,000 people and more than 800 venders.

“That would be a challenge I would love to tackle,” Noem said.

This weekend Sioux Falls broke a state record by hosting the largest convention in South Dakota’s history.

Pheasant Fest drew more than 28,000 people.

Even though the South Dakota Democratic Party supports growing tourism as well as the Second Amendment, the party's executive director say he doesn't support Noem's invitation.

“Representative Noem inviting the NRA to come hold their convention here we feel is very ill timed regarding the events that happened last week. We think it's very inappropriate to be calling for that now. It's somewhat disrespectful to the victims and the family,” Sam Parkinson said.

KSFY News reached out to Senator Billie Sutton and Attorney General Marty Jackley who are also in the South Dakota gubernatorial race.

Sutton did not respond to the request for comment.

Jackley released a statement saying "The NRA and the five million members who support it are more than welcome to host their convention in South Dakota, a state that has a deep and abiding respect for the Second Amendment and the rule of law. Like many South Dakotans, I am a gun owner and I am proud of the A+ rating I have received from the NRA. I would personally attend the convention should the NRA choose to move its event here."