Hondo City Council revokes Friends of NRA rental agreement after public outcry

Families of Robb Elementary victims call the decision a win

HONDO, Texas – It was a heated city council meeting in Hondo on Monday evening, which was called to discuss the Medina County Friends of NRA event set for Saturday.

People from Hondo and Uvalde, including family members of some of the Robb Elementary shooting victims, were in attendance, letting their displeasure of the event be heard. They were calling on the city council to stop this event from happening.

In response, Hondo City Council voted to revoke the rental agreement with the Friends of NRA to use the Fair Hall.

“It’s not about what they represent. It’s about courtesy and compassion, and we’re very happy,” said Berlinda Arreola, Amerie Garza’s grandmother.

Amerie is one of the 19 children who died in the mass shooting on May 24.

There were tears of joy and hugs between families at the packed city hall.

“Our decision this evening was made in the best interest of Hondo citizens,” said John McAnelly, mayor of Hondo.

The parents of some Uvalde victims say this was the most compassionate decision made for the victims’ families.

“A little shade of happiness can go a long way for us because nothing ever gets us out of the grief and the feeling that we’re in. So the fact that people are actually listening to us means a lot,” said Angel Garza, Amerie’s stepfather.

“It’s a slap in the face to do this so soon. You know, if the hands were reversed and they had had this happen, I do not think they would appreciate us doing the same thing,” said Brett Cross, Uziyah Garcia’s guardian.

Uziyah was also a victim in the Robb school shooting.

Not everyone celebrated the city council’s decision, including several Friends of NRA members who spoke in favor of their event.

Hondo City Councilman Brett Williams also disagrees with the council’s decisions.

Williams said the event does not equate to supporting what happened at Robb Elementary.

“I cannot support violating the rights of law-abiding citizens who peacefully wish to access a facility of our city,” Williams said.

Mayor McAnelly said the city reserves the right to revoke the rental agreement if it’s in the city’s best interest.

KSAT 12 called the three organizers of the Friends of the NRA event to get a statement about the city council’s decision. Those calls have not yet been returned.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

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