A local chapter of Gays Against Guns protested in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, calling for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to “come out” and stop gun lobbying.
Chanting “How many more have to die?" outside the NSSF Firearms Import and Export Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, the group also rallied for the NSSF to stop promoting gun policy that supports the production and sale of military assault weapons.
Created in response to the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Gays Against Guns advocates for stricter gun control laws -- including an end to the sale of assault weapons and internet gun sales and an expansion of background checks for gun owners.
Holding a sign that read "NSSF+NRA=Death," Michael C. Adolph, co-founder of Gays Against Guns DC, said NSSF hides behind hunting and is a “national trade association for gun manufacturers and dealers.”
“They’re trying to sell our plague of gun culture and weapons to other countries, “Adolph said. “That’s what this conference is about, increasing profits.”
Michael Bazinet, an NSSF spokesperson, refuted Gays Against Guns' claims in an email to NBC News.
"The National Shooting Sports Foundation has been around since 1961 and has never been ‘closeted,'" Bazinet wrote. "We do what all trade associations do and, in addition, run the most effective gun safety programs in the country."
Gays Against Guns also called on Marriott to enforce stricter background rules at gun shows and conferences. Adolph said the hotel chain is a friend of the LGBTQ community and questioned its views on sensible gun policy.
“It’s troubling to see your friends provide comfy beds and tasty cocktails to heads of an industry that revolves around violence," Adolph said. “We don’t doubt that Marriott cares about the LGBTQ community ... but lives are at risk here, and we simply ask them to show us they’ll stand with us in demanding sensible gun safety policy in America."
A spokesperson for the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel said in a statement: “We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space. We strive to provide a welcoming environment to all. Acceptance of business does not indicate support, or endorsement of any group or individual. As a matter of guest privacy we do not discuss details of our guests or the groups with whom we do business.”
Adolph said the group will use their voices to address issues in an “upfront and confrontational” way but will do it out of love.
“We really care. This is a reflection of our community,” Adolph said. "We want to lend a unique voice to a conversation that should’ve happened years ago.”