National Rifle Association convention jams Charlotte, N.C.

The National Rifle Association's convention is dominating two stages in Charlotte's uptown this afternoon, drawing big crowds to both the Charlotte Convention Center and to Time Warner Cable Arena.

As a result, pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the uptown area is extremely congested early Friday afternoon, and motorists are being urged to allow extra time to get where they're going in the center city.

About 17,000 people are expected at the arena for this afternoon's Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum, where the headline speaker is former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. But other notable figures, including former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and Oliver North, also are scheduled to speak.

That event begins at 12:30 p.m. and lasts until about 4 p.m. Palin's speech is expected about 2:45 p.m.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people are at the center of the NRA's 139th annual Meetings and Exhibits convention, at the Convention Center.

Read the complete story at