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NRA fundraiser planned in Hondo getting pushback

It's set to happen two weeks from Saturday in north Hondo, a 40-minute drive away from where 21 were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary.

SAN ANTONIO — Emotions are high in and around Uvalde following the announcement of an NRA fundraiser set to happen in August just a 40-minute drive away, in Hondo. 

"It's intentional. It's intentional, to poke the bear," said Angela Villescaz, executive director and founder of Fierce Madres.

A flyer circulating on Facebook advertises the upcoming fundraiser in Hondo, which is being hosted by the Medina Area Friends of NRA. 

Credit: Medina Area Friends of NRA Facebook

"I think this is their first attempt, in Hondo, to try to get in our face and show that we're gonna have a fundraiser just down the road," said Villescaz. 

Fierce Madres is an organization founded shortly after the shooting at Robb Elementary School. The group works to end gun violence while pushing for gun reform.

"A few of us consider ourselves like the Latina version of Moms Demand Action," said Villescaz. "If you take that NRA dollar, you're probably going to have a visit from Fierce Madres."

Villescaz says a mentor for the organization was a substitute teacher during the shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, who knows firsthand what experiencing a mass shooting at school is like. 

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Fierce Madres shares the same goal as Uvalde Strong for Gun Safety, a group founded by pediatrician, Dr. Roy A. Guerrero.

"I think the overall feeling from our community is that if this would have happened in Hondo, you wouldn't be having this meeting at this point in time," Guerrero explained. "Just because it wasn't in your community, doesn't make you immune to it being disrespectful."

What's also striking a nerve is the event promoting the AR-15, the same type of weapon used in the Uvalde massacre.

Credit: Medina Area Friends of NRA Facebook

"I believe in everyone's fundamental right to bear arms, but assault weapons have no place in society," said Guerrero. 

Guerrero says the group plans to write letters to gun vendors in Uvalde County, requesting they pull assault weapons from their shelves.

"It's one thing to say something. It's another thing to do something."

The Uvalde Strong for Gun Safety Facebook group has more than 2,000 members and meets on the third Wednesday of each month at Southwest Texas Junior College. Guerrero's homework for the group is to put words into action.

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"Being a pediatrician and maybe dealing with children every day brings this more to heart for me than everybody else, but it's infuriating that we haven't seen a lot of the people locally that we should see stepping up and joining, if not our cause, making their own cause and fighting for the same thing," he explained. "We need gun reform. We need to keep our kiddos safe."

Guerrero said the group's plan is receiving support from adjoining counties like Maverick and Val Verde. Other new members of the group are from all across the United States.

The Facebook page for Medina Area Friends of NRA reads that "all net proceeds from Friends of NRA events are allocated to The NRA Foundation, the leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports."

According to the NRA Foundation's website, "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."

The event in Hondo is set for August 6.

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KENS 5 reached out to Medina Area Friends of NRA on Facebook and over the phone, as well as the NRA, for a response. We're waiting to hear back.

To learn more about Uvalde Strong for Gun Safety, and how their victim advocates can help families of Robb Elementary, visit their Facebook page.

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