(NEXSTAR) – Daniel Defense, the company that manufactured the AR-15-style rifle used by the shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has pulled out of this week’s NRA convention in Houston.
In a statement shared with Nexstar, the manufacturer said it didn’t feel the present time was “appropriate” to promote its guns.
“Daniel Defense is not attending the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) meeting due to the horrifying tragedy in Uvalde, Texas where one of our products was criminally misused,” the company wrote. “We believe this week is not the appropriate time to be promoting our products in Texas at the NRA meeting.”
The company, founded in Savannah, Georgia, had earlier confirmed its belief that the shooter who killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary had used a Daniel Defense firearm, Nexstar’s WSAV reported.
“We will cooperate with all federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities in their investigations,” the company said, while offering “thoughts and prayers” to the community in Uvalde.
Daniel Defense has also made its social-media channels private following criticism of a recent tweet which reportedly showed a young boy holding an AR-15-style, The Washington Post reported. Just eight days before the tragedy in Uvalde, Daniel Defense tweeted the photo along with a verse from the Book of Proverbs, which read, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” according to an archived version of the tweet shared by the outlet.
A Daniel Defense representative who shared a company statement with Nexstar on Friday morning did not respond to inquiries concerning the Twitter post.
In addition to Daniel Defense, several other guests and performers at the NRA convention in Houston have canceled their appearances, including “American Pie” singer Don McClean, who said it would be “disrespectful and hurtful” to perform. Joining him in canceling performances are “God Bless the U.S.A.” singer Lee Greenwood, as well as performers Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart. Danielle Peck and T. Graham Brown have also cancelled, Billboard reported, leaving Jacob Bryant as the only remaining performer as of Friday morning. Billboard reported that the NRA was expected to announce the cancellation of all concert activity sometime on Friday, citing a source with knowledge of the event.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also canceled plans to attend the convention after facing criticism for his scheduled appearance in the wake of the school shooting. He and will instead hold a press conference in Uvalde, The Hill reported.
The NRA’s 2022 Annual Meeting & Exhibits will take place between May 27 and May 29 in Houston, Texas.