The National Rifle Association recently released its program guide for the group’s annual meeting, which will be held this May in Louisville, Kentucky. Some of the most prominent conservatives in the country have been confirmed as speakers, including Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz. But for the first time in 12 years, the speaker lineup does not include NRA board member Ted Nugent, who has recently caused an uproar with his controversial remarks regarding race and religion.
Nugent has long served as a main attraction at the group’s convention, signing autographs and giving presentations to hordes of adoring fans. In the run-up to last year’s meeting, Nugent was billed as a “special event” unto himself, along with programs like the 2015 Prayer Breakfast, the Annual Meeting of Members, and the Youth Leadership Conference.
Nugent had announced on February 9 that he would conduct a seminar at the convention called Do or Die for America & Freedom. According to Nugent’s website, he planned to “expound upon significant threats to America, freedom, and our sacred Second Amendment rights as only he can.”
The day before Nugent announced his seminar, he shared a meme on Facebook that blamed a dozen prominent American Jews for gun control, prompting firearms enthusiasts, along with civil rights organizations, to call for his dismissal from the NRA’s board.
In response, the gun-rights group claimed he did not speak for the organization. The NRA remained quiet a month later when Nugent referred to a Latino man as a “beanochimp.” And it offered no comment when Nugent shared another racist image three weeks later, this one derogatory toward African Americans.
Whether the recent controversies involving Nugent have anything to do with the cancelling of his seminar is not clear. Both the NRA and Nugent declined to comment for this story, but his absence at this year’s meeting will surely disappoint fans.
“It may be the most important presentation of the expo,” Nugent wrote about his seminar, “and you have the chance to be part of it.”
[Photo: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar]