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Thousands Expected to Attend Controversial NRA Meeting

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The National Rifle Association is promoting this weekend’s annual meeting and exhibit in all corners of the metro area, including North St. Louis City.

“I think they put it in the wrong location,’ says Eddie Marshall of North City.  ‘They should have had it somewhere else.”

Marshall pointed to the ABB plant.  In 2010, an employee shot and killed three co-workers then himself.  NRA officials say they rented several billboards.  They did not know renting one at I-70 and Union would reopen a wound in the community.

“Our advertising strategy is much like anyone else’s,’ said Andrew Arulanandam.  ‘If it’s by a major thoroughfare where a lot of eyes would see it, we buy the corresponding billboard.  And, that’s pretty much what everyone does.”

The general manager of DDI billboards says the company mistakenly put the ad up based on availability.  Meanwhile, the association prepares to welcome over 60,000 people to the America`s Center.  Many will be women.

“It’s a testament to the power of the 2nd Amendment,’ said Stephanie Samford, from the NRA.  ‘Gun ownership is on the rise.  Women are the largest demographic of new gun owners.”

Samford said while many gun enthusiast are looking for new products for hunting and target practice, women may be looking guns to keep them safe.

“People are placing a higher premium on personal safety, and women come into firearms ownership to be safe,’ Samford said.

The wives of presidential candidates will speak to members looking to expand gun-ownership rights.  That could be an uphill battle in a town still mourning four people lost to a workplace shooting.

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