SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Governor Kristi Noem is scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual meetings Friday in Houston, Texas.
In a social media post highlighting Noem’s speech at the event, the NRA said Noem “has NEVER wavered in her support for our Second Amendment.”
The post includes a video of Noem telling President Joe Biden she’ll give up her gun “when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”
The NRA leadership forum is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and along with Noem and NRA leaders, President Donald Trump is expected to speak along with Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
According to its website, the NRA’s annual leadership forum is “one of the most politically significant and popular events in the country, featuring our nation’s top Second Amendment leaders in government, the media, and the entertainment industry.”
According to the event, the U.S. Secret Service will take control of the event and attendees will be subject to search. Guns, firearm accessories, knives and other items will not be allowed in the hall.
Noem’s speech to gun advocates will happen a few days after a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers. The 18-year-old gunman used an AR-style rifle and was killed by a border patrol officer according to Abbott.
The attack in the predominantly Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
Democratic candidate for Governor and Sioux Falls lawmaker Jamie Smith also posted on social media about Noem’s speech at the NRA conference.
Smith said in a tweet “Speaking at an NRA conference in Texas just days after a mass shooting that saw 19 children senselessly slaughtered is the kind of tone deaf and divisive leadership that has defined Gov. Noem. SD deserves a leader who cares more about people than climbing the political ladder.”
Noem is facing a challenge from Sioux Falls attorney and lawmaker Steve Haugaard in the Republican primary. That election is set for June 7.
The NRA released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying “Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime. On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders and others who offered their support and services.
Although an investigation is underway and facts are still merging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal. As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure.”