POLITICS
05/05/2013 04:44 pm ET Updated Jul 05, 2013

NRA National Convention Wraps Up In Houston

(Fixes to show booths were showing, not selling, firearms)

HOUSTON, May 5 (Reuters) - The National Rifle Association on Sunday wrapped up its first national meeting of members since the high-profile mass shootings last year at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The convention ended with a prayer breakfast and a presentation by rock musician Ted Nugent, which was closed to the media.

Speakers throughout the weekend included NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Not only was the convention the NRA's first national gathering of members since the shootings in Colorado and Connecticut, but it came less than a month after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers - a step favored by U.S. President Barack Obama and most Americans.

An estimated 70,000 attendees at the NRA convention participated in gun raffles and shooting sports and browsed among more than 550 booths showing firearms and myriad gun-related items.

Thermal vision cameras - similar to equipment used by authorities hunting for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as he hid in a boat - attracted a crowd of interested onlookers.

The NRA said it would release a statement on Monday with an official tally of attendance.

(Reporting by Andrea Lorenz; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Maureen Bavdek)

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