On Friday, March 16, NRA Country, the lifestyle arm of the National Rifle Association, rolled out a new website. Missing from the site was the organization’s “featured artists” page, which included a list of over three dozen country artists associated with NRA Country.
Rolling Stone reported that NRA Country artists, including Granger Smith and Justin Moore, said they weren’t informed of changes coming to the website.
The NRA has come under heightened scrutiny recently by those who want stricter gun laws in the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14 and last year’s mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.
The change to the website comes just days after the National School Walk Out, in which thousands of students across the country walked out of their schools. The walkout was in honor of victims killed by firearms and a protest to push lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws.
Before the removal, 37 artists still remained listed on the NRA Country website. Some of the names listed included Luke Combs, Trace Adkins, Craig Campbell, Justin Moore and Jon Pardi.
The website’s events page still lists two upcoming concerts, one with the Randy Rogers Band and the Scooter Brown Band and another with Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. The concerts coincide with the NRA’s annual convention in Dallas in May.
NRA Country was established to develop a relationship between the NRA and the country music community. Several country artists have partnered with NRA Country over the years. Artists would often perform at select NRA Country events. In return, they were promoted by the organization.
This isn’t the first time the names of artists have been removed from NRA Country’s website.
A few months after the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2013, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan were removed from the list of artists on the organization’s website. A few days after the Route 91 shooting in October of 2017, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line were removed from the list.