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NRA Still Plans Denver Meeting

April 22, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The National Rifle Association still plans to meet next week in Denver despite the wish of top city officials that the group stay away in the aftermath of the Littleton high school killings.

``We have an obligation to our members,″ NRA spokesman Bill Powers said Thursday. ``We will be coming to conduct that meeting.″

He said the NRA will do only the essential annual business required under bylaws of the not-for-profit group at its May 1 session. On Wednesday, the organization trimmed the conference schedule to one day from the three that were planned and canceled seminars, luncheons, exhibits and festivities.

The only sideline event that had been left on the calendar, an evening reception for Republican Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, also has been canceled, Powers said.

He would not say whether people in Denver have been taking Mayor Wellington Webb’s advice and calling the NRA to tell it not to come. ``I don’t think it’s appropriate to respond to the mayor,″ Powers said.

Webb asked citizens to put pressure on the nation’s largest lobbying group for gun owners, saying, ``Everyday people can make a difference.″

``We don’t want them here,″ said Denver City Council President Allegra ``Happy″ Haynes.

Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, used sawed-off shotguns, a semiautomatic rifle, a pistol and homemade bombs to kill 12 students and one teacher at the school outside Denver on Tuesday before killing themselves.

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