NRA announces April date for annual meeting in Indianapolis

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One month after Eyewitness News first reported that Indianapolis will host the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting in April, the NRA issued its first Indianapolis news release on the event. 

The meeting, held at the Indiana Convention Center from April 25-27, is expected to draw 70,000 attendees and several GOP leaders.

The release says speakers at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum include Senator Daniel Coats of Indiana, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri.

Other events include the National NRA Foundation Banquet and a Stand and Fight Rally with performances by Alabama and singer Sara Evans in addition to a trade show showcasing firearms and various hungint and shooting accessories.

The release says "NRA's Annual Meetings and Exhibits provide a safe and fun atmosphere the whole family can enjoy."

Last month, Visit Indy's Chris Gahl told Eyewitness News the NRA convention will be the largest in city history, brining in an estimated $55 million in economic impact.

Gahl said Visit Indy they began courting the group in 2007, snagging it in 2009 with the convention center expansion and new JW marriott under construction.

Unlike most other large conventions which the city eagerly touts well in advance, there was no official mention of the NRA convention by the city until Eyewitness asked about it.

In response Gahl said, "Sometimes we rely on the customer to dictate when we announce this and in their minds they weren't ready until late January or early February."

Gahl also acknowledged the NRA's conventions often draw protestors and a lot of media attention.

Because of a change in state law passed in 2011, NRA members, who are licensed to carry, won't have any problems bringing firearms into the convention center. Gahl says was a change critical to landing the group this year and he hopes beyond.

As for any special security measures. Capital Improvement Board Executive Director, Barney Levengood, who manages the convention center said, "I think we'll handle it like all shows, consult with them and see what their priorities are on everything from sound and lighting to security."