The NRA prepares for next year’s 80,000-member rally in Atlanta

This photo provided by Rep. Chillie Pingree,D-Maine, shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn. as they participate in sit-down protest seeking a a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rep. Chillie Pingree via AP)

This photo provided by Rep. Chillie Pingree,D-Maine, shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn. as they participate in sit-down protest seeking a a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rep. Chillie Pingree via AP)

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, received national plaudits – from the likes of President Barack Obama and Stephen Colbert, no less — for leading that overnight House sit-in to demand a vote on “no fly, no buy” legislation.

But tonight, one corner of the congressman’s district is likely to forego the applause. The National Rifle Association is holding a kick-off event in anticipation of next year’s national gathering in Atlanta that is expected to attract 80,000 gun enthusiasts.

The speaker at Thursday’s 103 West affair will be Tyler Schropp, executive director of the NRA’s Office of Advancement. We’re already picking up some word about who will receive the gun group’s blandishments next April, and it won’t be Gov. Nathan Deal – who this spring vetoed a measure to permit concealed weaponry on public university campuses.

No, the NRA’s favorite son is likely to be Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who’s positioning himself for a 2018 run for governor.


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