TODAY   |  May 03, 2013

Palin, Perry to speak at NRA convention

In the midst of a national fight over gun control laws, the National Rifle Association will hold its annual meeting in Houston this weekend, with Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and more scheduled to speak. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>> today in texas the national rifle association 's annua convention gets under way as the country engages in a heated gun control debate. gabe gutierrez has the story, good morni.

>> reporter: good morning, more than 70,000 people are expected to attend this convention which runs through sunday. the slogan here, stand and fight. the nra is riding high after a major congressional victory. today in houston a nine-acre gun show in the middle of a national gun fight . about 0 exhibitor also kickstart the nra 's annual meeting this afternoon scheduled speakers include sarah palin , rick santorum , bobby jindal and rick perry .

>> nra members vote and their friends vote and that's what is driving all this.

>> reporter: after mass shootingings in aurora and newtown the nra 's opponents seem to have momentum.

>> this was a pretty shameful day for washington.

>> reporter: two weeks ago a bipartisan compromise was shot down in the senate.

>> we don't mistake battles for wars. it was a victory in a battle but the war continues.

>> i believe in the second amendment and i'll fight to protect it.

>> reporter: several gun control advocates are launching a coordinated effort ahead of the 2014 midterm election. the groups claim they finally have the financial clout to challenge the nra .

>> fire!

>> reporter: thanks to super pacs backed by michael bloomberg and gabby giffords .

>> we're simply losing too many loved ones to this epidemic and it's time for change .

>> reporter: but here in this convention hall some people see it differently. bill works for one of the largest rifle manufacturers that employees 600 people.

>> my concern is any legislation targeted towards criminals and not law-abiding people.

>> reporter: gun control advocates are planning a vigil for gun violence , matt.

>> gabe, thank you very much.