Mayor Sylvester Turner is urging the Houston NRA conference to be postponed out of respect for the victims of the Uvalde school shooting

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday said a legally binding treaty prevents the city from canceling the annual National Rifle Association conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center this weekend. Several groups want to protest against it.

The convention center opens its doors on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. when on-site registration begins.

Several groups, including former President Donald Trump, with varying agendas are expected outside the GRB center beginning Friday.

SEE ALSO: Here’s what you need to know about the Houston NRA meeting

Confirming his attendance, Trump said he would deliver an important message to America and pray for the victims of the Uvalde mass shooting.

“What I would say to the NRA is that even if the city can’t cancel a contract because we don’t agree with their position on guns, the NRA can postpone it for a week or two so families can bury their children,” he said gymnast .

Just three days after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, the city of Houston is expected to host the annual conference, which will feature 14 acres of weapons and equipment.

“The coincidence. The timing was tragic and terrible,” said Megan Hansen.

Hansen and a friend decided they had to do something. They organized an interfaith protest for Friday afternoon around 1 p.m

“We just think it’s really important to take the testimony to the people who are gathering in this room and to say that we need to change our policies on guns and gun control in this country,” Hansen said. “The NRA is a big part of that. So we want to go straight to the people who are members and who are speaking and who are politicians.”

Their protest will be a silent one, involving a few hundred people in reflection and prayer.

SEE RELATED STORY: How Houston Can Help Victims of Robb Elementary School Shooting in Uvalde

At the same time, there will be a vocal rally for justice organized by several activist groups and the Harris County Democratic Party.

The Houston Police Department said there were plans for a tactical operation to protect the protesters and an expected crowd of up to 80,000 NRA members. Weeks before the event, the union said they had been told holiday time was limited during the conference.

Governor Greg Abbott was asked if he would still be speaking at the NRA conference during a press conference in Uvalde.

WATCH: Beto O’Rourke interrupts Texas governor’s news conference over shooting

“As for future plans, listen, I’m living moment to moment right now,” Abbott said.

Senator Ted Cruz did not respond to questions from ABC13.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw and Senator John Cornyn both withdrew a few days ago before the Uvalde shooting. Crenshaw is in Ukraine and Cornyn has a scheduling conflict.

“The problem is clearly the weapons, and we need fewer of them,” said Hansen.

The NRA conference runs through Sunday.

SEE RELATED STORY: Mass shootings in the US have nearly tripled since 2013, data from the Gun Violence Archive shows

For updates on this story, follow Briana Conner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more about this story, follow Charly Edsitty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Dais Johnston

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