John Bacon, USA TODAY
The NRA's leadership forum at the gun group's annual meeting this week in Dallas will feature Vice President Pence, but it won't feature guns.
The gun ban has drawn the ire of gun-control advocates who question how the NRA can support open carry while banning guns as a safety measure at its own event. Some gun-rights supporters also are complaining, offering that no forum is safer than one where the entire audience is armed.
The group bills Friday's forum as "one of the most politically significant and popular events" in the nation, drawing Second Amendment leaders in government, the media and even entertainment.
That's the rub. The NRA website notes that, because of the appearance of Pence, the Secret Service will be responsible for security at the forum. That means no guns or gun accessories, knives or "weapons of any kind." Even selfie sticks and laser pointers are banned. No gun lockers, either.
Silver lining: Knife Rights will be providing complimentary storage for knives and other prohibited items.
There is also buzz that President Trump will speak at the convention, which runs Thursday through Sunday. That would mean another event at one of the gun lobby's biggest gatherings where guns would be banned.
The NRA notes that for most events, guns will be allowed into the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. But what the Secret Service wants, the Secret Service gets.
The irony wasn't lost on some of the most outspoken survivors of the deadly February school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Several students have led a national movement to increase restrictions on guns that has pitted them against the NRA leadership.
Cameron Kasky tweeted that the NRA "has evolved into such a hilarious parody of itself."
The NRA has evolved into such a hilarious parody of itself. NRA went ballistic when this piece of information hit the fan:
Fred Guttenberg's daughter, Jaime, didn't survive the Parkland massacre. He called the ban "enlightening."
"According to the NRA, we should want everyone to have weapons when we are in public," Guttenberg tweeted. "But when they put on a convention, the weapons are a concern? I thought to give everyone a gun was to enhance safety. Am I missing something?"
Another Parkland survivor, Matt Deitsch, questioned why "to make the VP safe there aren’t any weapons around but when it comes to children they want guns everywhere? ... It sounds like the NRA wants to protect people who help them sell guns, not kids."
The ban was a hot topic on the online gun forum TexasCHLforum.com.
"I don't care how popular you are or how big your salary is, I think it's unnecessary to disarm the good guys," posted Grundy1133. "If a bad guy decides to show up in a room full of armed citizens PLUS secret service, the VP should feel safe knowing that the bad guy will have about 200 holes in him before anything bad happens."
Other were less aggrieved by the ban.
"Look at it this way, imagine what a prime opportunity it would be for some rabid gun hater to take a pot shot at the VP AT the NRA Annual Convention," posted Wildrose.