TODAY | May 03, 2013
>> 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 .
>> 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.