NRA convention set for this spring in Indianapolis

The National Rifle Association's 152nd annual meeting will be April 14-16 at the Indiana Convention Center and will include hundreds of gun and gear exhibitors and guest speakers.

This will be the third time in 20 years that the NRA's annual convention is being held in Indianapolis. After the 2014 meeting brought about 75,000 people to the Indiana Convention Center, making it one of the city's largest conventions, the NRA signed a contract to return in 2019 and 2023.

Several guest speakers were scheduled for the 2022 convention in Houston, including former President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. Several canceled due to the Uvalde shooting days earlier.

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Two months out, Visit Indy is conservatively predicting a draw of 65,000 to 70,000 people, though this estimate could climb as the event gets closer, executive vice president Chris Gahl said. He said to expect virtually all hotel rooms in Marion County to be sold out.

The tourism agency is also projecting the event to rake in an economic impact of $36.4 million to the region, which includes spending on travel, hotel rooms and restaurants.

That puts the NRA convention at the fourth largest this year in terms of economic impact, behind Gen Con in August, Performance Racing Industry in December and the Future Farmers of America in November.

Those economic impact estimates are usually within 5-7% of what people end up spending, Gahl said.

Attendance in 2019 hit about 81,000 people, and tourism officials at the time expected those gun enthusiasts to spend about $35 million on hotels, restaurants, bars and other amenities. President Donald Trump spoke in 2019, as did former vice president and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

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The event also routinely attracts country music stars, celebrity gun-rights activists as well as protestors who support gun control.

Like last time, Visit Indy will designate a protest zone outside the convention center, Gahl said.

"We are a city that wants to welcome all visitors, but we know it's polarizing, at the same time," he said.

Kayla Dwyer is a transportation reporter at IndyStar. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @kayla_dwyer17.