DEL RIO – The Friends of NRA held a fundraising event Saturday in Del Rio, about 80 miles to the West of Uvalde.
A small group gathered outside the event to protest and stand in solidarity with the Uvalde community.
“If that guy didn’t have an assault weapon, if it was just a Glock, maybe that would have changed, saved some lives. Maybe those officers would have ran in there,” one protester said, holding a sign.
Those strong words came from a small group of protesters along Highway 90 in Del Rio speaking out against the Friends of NRA event.
Happening now, a group of protestors is lining up along Hwy 90 in Del Rio to protest the @FriendsofNRA event taking place here. They tell me they stand with Uvalde and feel this event is happening too soon after the Robb Elementary tragedy pic.twitter.com/26c5UXbYA0
— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) October 1, 2022
“We thought it was too soon, you know, Uvalde is just down the road from us,” Mariza Mancha, a protester said.
Mancha said the event is the Friends of NRA’s annual fundraiser.
Valarie Rodriguez, another protester, said they attended the Val Verde commissioners court on Sept. 27th asking them to push the event back out of respect for what happened at Robb Elementary.
“We do stand with Uvalde. We’re not OK with what happened, we’re not OK with an 18-year-old being able to purchase an AR-15. We’re not OK with the NRA raffling that to a child as well. I mean children, 18-year-olds have bought them. They’re still children and that there needs to be change,” Rodriguez said.
According to the event’s flyer, there will be guns raffled and if you make a large enough donation you can receive an assault-style weapon.
KSAT 12 reporter Leigh Waldman asked if any of the organizers of the event would like to speak but they declined. However, a woman attending the event came out to speak with one of the protesters.
We caught the tail end of the conversation. She explained she respected what they were doing and hopes the protesters had the same respect for them.
According to the Friends of NRA website, they fundraise for the future of shooting sports.
“I do believe that you know, they should know how to operate the guns and yeah I’m all for that, but some certain guns shouldn’t be you know in the hands of just regular citizens, they should belong in the war,” Mancha said.
Mancha and Rodriguez said they just want respect for the survivors of Robb Elementary and victims’ families given the proximity of Del Rio to Uvalde.
“This kind of event should not be happening right now. This just happened in May, I mean, this is not okay. Like it’s not okay for it to be happening here,” Rodriguez said.
On August 1st, the Hondo City Council blocked a similar Friends of NRA event from happening by revoking the group’s rental agreement to use Fair Hall.