National Rifle Association members have been told they won't be allowed to pack heat when Mike Pence speaks at its national convention this week—and the irony was not lost on Parkland school shooting survivors, among others. "You're telling me to make the VP safe there aren't any weapons around but when it comes to children they want guns everywhere? Can someone explain this to me?” tweeted former student Matt Deitsch, who helped organize the March for Our Lives rallies. The NRA says "firearms and firearm accessories, knives, or weapons of any kind will be prohibited in the forum" during the vice president's Friday appearance at the Dallas event because of Secret Service regulations, Slate reports.
An NRA spokesman tells the Washington Post that even in open-carry states like Texas, it is against the law to bring firearms into areas being visited by Secret Service protectees. Parkland student David Hogg has circulated a petition that urges Pence to cancel the appearance, calling it a "slap in the face" to Americans hurting from gun violence. A similar gun ban was in place when President Trump spoke at the NRA's convention in Atlanta last year. The Hill reports that White House officials have confirmed that Trump also plans to speak at this year's convention, which is being held from Thursday to Sunday and will feature more than 20 acres of firearms exhibits, according to organizers. (In his 2016 speech to the convention, Trump promised to ban gun-free zones nationwide if elected.)