On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that Daniel Defense — the company that manufactured a rifle used by the Uvalde, Texas school shooter — is abruptly pulling out of the upcoming National Rifle Association convention in Houston.
"Up until Wednesday afternoon,the company was to have occupied Booth 4839, conveniently close to the cafe at the George R. Brown Convention Center, amid what the NRA terms '14 acres of guns and gear,'" reported Michael Daly. "'GIVEAWAYS, DEMOS, CELEBRITY APPEARANCES & MORE!' Daniel Defense had promised online. The items on display would have included the DDM4 V7 rifle, the model used with such horrific effect at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. 'A perfect rifle for everybody,' a Daniel Defense promotional video says."
The booth will now be occupied by NRA promoters themselves, where they will offer memberships, "commission based dealer programs," and other services.
"Daniel Defense may still benefit from Tuesday’s horror. The company reported that the 2012 slaughter of 20 kids and six adults at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut boosted sales to folks fearing an assault weapons ban," said the report. "The now $100-million-a-year company was founded by 59-year-old Marty Daniel of Georgia. He started out making garage doors after flunking out of Georgia Southern University twice before finally graduating. A company history on its website suggests he might not have gone into guns if he had been a better golfer."
The Sandy Hook massacre was committed with an AR-style rifle manufactured by Remington. That triggered a landmark lawsuit into whether Remington was marketing its products responsibly, which led to an out-of-court settlement with the victims' families for $73 million.
Daniel Defense's exit comes as other key attendees are under pressure to pull out. "American Pie" singer Don McLean, who was scheduled to give a performance, has backed out. Also scheduled to give speeches are former President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX); Abbott has declined to answer questions about whether he will still attend.
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