NRA to participate in CNN town hall on Wednesday

Posted at 1:24 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 13:24:12-05

(CNN) -- The National Rifle Association will participate in CNN's nationally televised town hall Wednesday with students, parents and community members who were affected by last week's school shooting.

After a gunman took the lives of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, lawmakers are facing renewed calls for legislation on gun reform.

The NRA accepted CNN's invitation to participate in the town hall and national spokeswoman Dana Loesch will represent the organization.

The CNN town hall, "Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action," will also bring together the victims' classmates, parents and other community members, as well as Florida Rep. Ted Deutch and Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has also agreed to participate.

The NRA has given significant donations to various political candidates, including Rubio, who received two donations of $4,950 during the 2016 election from the NRA's political arm, The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund.

The town hall will air live on Wednesday, at 9 p.m. ET, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, and will be moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper.

Both President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down CNN's invitations to participate.

"With only two weeks left of our annual legislative session, Governor Rick Scott will be in Tallahassee meeting with state leaders to work on ways to keep Florida students safe, including school safety improvements and keeping guns away from individuals struggling with mental illness," a spokesperson for the governor previously told CNN.

Trump is expected to hold a listening session Wednesday with high school students and teachers who have been affected by school shootings.

Several students, including Kevin Trejos, Ryan Deitsch, Alfonso Calderon, Chris Grady and Emma Gonzalez, said they will attend the event.

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