TODAY   |  May 04, 2013

Thousands attend NRA convention

The National Rifle Association's annual convention enters its second day Saturday, and it’s shaping up to be the group's largest gathering ever. "We think the 2nd amendment, needs all the support it can get right now," said Martin Baker, an NRA member. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> the national rifle association 's annual convention is getting under way for a second day in houston . there is much talk about the group's opposition to gun control measures which was of course a push for in the wake of the newtown school shootings. gabe gutierrez joins us now.

>> reporter: the nra 's recent victory in congress over the expanded background checks energized this convention. meanwhile, the group's opponents promise to keep fighting. today thousands more nra members are expected to pack houston 's convention center .

>> it's the second amendment and needs all the support it can get right now.

>> reporter: the offenicial meeting of members tonight and a rally highlighted by glenn beck . a day after fellow conservatives like sarah palin and rick santorum took the stage.

>> this is a fight for the future of freedom.

>> this is a critical time in american history .

>> reporter: following the mass shootings in newtown and aurora, the nra critics had momentum until a bill aimed at expanding background checks for gun sales failed two weeks ago in the senate.

>> we will never back away from our resolve to defend our rights and the rights of all law abiding american gun owners.

>> reporter: gun control advocates are renewing their push.

>> i'm an nra member and believe in sensible gun laws .

>> this new ad is airing in houston paid for by michael bloomberg . relatives of newtown victims are also here. neil lost his 6-year-old son in the massacre.

>> i wish for a moment they could be in my place to see what i'm going through.

>> reporter: back on the convention floor --

>> i pray for them.

>> reporter: larry says he sympathizes with victims of violence but thinks more gun control is not the answer.

>> you cannot legislate something to handle somebody that is mentally deranged.

>> reporter: the convention is scheduled to run through sunday and tomorrow musician ted nugent is scheduled to speak.

>> gabe, thanks.