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Residents voice concerns as the fate of an NRA fundraiser near Uvalde is still being decided by local leaders

The fundraiser's flyer advertises a gun raffle. Big spenders could win an AR-15.

HONDO, Texas — The fate of an NRA fundraiser, set for Saturday, August 6 in Hondo, lies in the hands of city council.

Monday, August 1, councilmembers will decide whether to cancel, postpone or allow the fundraiser to happen in a city-owned facility.

When word got out about the Medina Area Friends of NRA fundraiser, it didn't sit well with some Uvalde families.

In the public comment portion of Monday's Hondo City Council meeting, two Hondo residents voiced their concerns, including David Hernandez. Hernandez is the uncle of two Robb Elementary victims, Jackie Cazares and Annabell Rodriguez.

"I am not against the 2nd Amendment. I am a gun owner myself, but it is distasteful and point blank disrespectful to the families of Uvalde that just buried their loved ones to hold this event so soon and so close to Uvalde," Hernandez told councilmembers Monday. "Stand with Uvalde to show the whole world that an assault weapon is not more important than our children."

The fundraiser's flyer advertises a gun raffle. Big spenders could win an AR-15.

"What if it would have happened here in Hondo? How would we like it if Uvalde or some community would be having an event by the NRA? Especially because they're promoting the AR-15, which is the weapon that was used by the killer," said Hondo resident, Chavel Lopez. "You're letting the Area Friends of NRA and the NRA drive through Hondo like hell. You got that sign out there that you don't anybody driving through it like hell, well they are driving through it like hell because you're permitting them to have that event here in Hondo."

At a special meeting Monday, Hondo city council will debate whether the event should go on in one of their facilities.

Hondo City Manager, Scott Albert, says the city would be open to moving the fundraiser, which has taken place annually for about a decade.

Monday, July 25, city officials met with Friends of NRA representatives to see if they'd reschedule their event out of consideration for Uvalde families. John McAnelly, the Mayor of Hondo, said the organization declined.

"Maybe a handful of individuals who had concerns about the fundraiser bieng held, but we also had individuals reach out to us who support the Medina County Friends of NRA to move forward with their event," said Albert. "There's no hidden agenda here by either side."

What's also of concern, city officials say, is a possible protest should the fundraiser go on as planned. In an e-mail, McAnelly told us city leaders were informed there could be hundreds of protestors outside the the Fair Hall. Since two other birthday events are planned next door at the facility, and given the emotions involved, the mayor said council is concerned about the safety of everyone.

All net proceeds from Friends of NRA events benefit the NRA Foundation, according to the Medina Area Friends of NRA's Facebook page.

The NRA Foundation's website (https://www.nrafoundation.org/about-us/) says "Funds granted by The NRA Foundation benefit a variety of constituencies throughout the United States including children, youth, women, individuals with physical disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement officers, hunters and competitive shooters."

Friday, KENS 5 reached out to a spokesman for Friends of NRA. He has not yet responded.

The special council meeting is set for Monday, August 1, at 5:15 p.m. at Hondo City Hall.

"This is a sensitive issue for the region and I think our governing body, our city council, is going to look at it from both points of views and make the appropriate decision in the best interest of the citizens of Hondo," said Albert.

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