BREAKING: NRA’s Chris Cox Clarifies NRA’s Stance on Open Carry – “NRA Supports Open Carry”
Yesterday, a statement issued by the NRA-ILA seemed to “call out” the open carry of long guns into private businesses. According to that statement,
Chris Cox, of the NRA-ILA, appearing on Cam Edwards radio show, clarified that the NRA supports both open and concealed carry. He said that the NRA’s only concern is about the tactics used by open carry advocates in Texas. As Chris points out, the main gun groups in Texas have already made changes to their open carry demonstration policies.
Cox further went on to clarify that of course there will be disagreements between gun owners in regards to the tactics, but that it’s important to stay focused on the underlying issue of expanding gun rights.
Here is the statement originally issued by the NRA-ILA, which Cox describes as a poorly written post by an NRA-ILA staffer,
Now we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody, and we know that these sorts of semiautomatic carbines are among the most popular, fastest selling firearms in America today. Texas, independent-minded and liberty-loving place that it is, doesn’t ban the carrying of loaded long guns in public, nor does it require a permit for this activity. Yet some so-called firearm advocates seem determined to change this.
Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states, and it is relatively common and uncontroversial in some places.
Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms.
Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.
As a result of these hijinx, two popular fast food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises (more information can be found here and here). In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior. To state the obvious, that’s counterproductive for the gun owning community.
More to the point, it’s just not neighborly, which is out of character for the big-hearted residents of Texas. Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That’s not the Texas way. And that’s certainly not the NRA way.
Chris Cox also speaks to the importance of the upcoming midterm elections. I’ve said it before and I’ll agree with Chris Cox now, this is the most important election we’ve faced as gun owners and we need to be focusing on that.
We received the following statement from Open Carry Texas in response to Cox’s comments,
Open Carry Texas would like to both thank and applaud Chris Cox and the National Rifle Association for clarification on their stance of open carry. With or without support of the NRA, our mission is unchanged: to legalize open carry of modern handguns in Texas and to continue to educate and train Texans in regard to safely carrying firearms openly. We remain confident that the NRA will aid with legislative support, to help in getting an open carry bill both drafted, and passed in the 2015 legislative session.