NRA convention draws thousands to downtown Indy

Supporters, protestors among 70k in attendance

INDIANAPOLIS - The National Rifle Association's convention has brought more than 70,000 people to Indianapolis this weekend – some with views on the polar ends of the gun-rights spectrum.

Inside the convention center, merchants laid out nine acres of guns and gear across 600 exhibits.

"It's an excellent place to display our wares because the public can come in and feel and touch and see what they like and don't like, and voice their opinion about the profit," said Paul Richter, who was manning the European American Armory booth.

Speakers at the event included Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who assured attendees of the state's firm commitment to gun rights, and Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, an avid hunter.

On the other end of the spectrum, a group of moms and gun violence survivors flocked to Indy to use the weekend to help carry their message.

"I'm not anti-gun. I'm anti-gun violence. I'm anti-getting shot in the back in a random attack. I believe that gun ownership is a right in the United States," said Jennifer Longdon, a member of Everytown Gun Safety.

The group is pushing for tighter gun restrictions around the country, and hopes NRA leadership will help carry its message.

"We've got to stop having a polarized discussion and come to the middle and figure out ways to protect our families," said Shannon Watts, the Zionsville mother who founded Everytown Gun Safety after the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

On Saturday, the group's supporters plan to gather at the Indiana War Memorial for a "stroller jam" rally to end gun violence.

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