NRA: Sorry We Called Open-Carry Crew 'Weird'
Walks back surprising statement from last week
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2014 8:38 AM CDT
National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris W. Cox speaks at the NRA's annual convention in Friday, April 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

(Newser) – Well, so much for that: On Friday, a statement appeared on the website of the NRA's lobbying arm that Talking Points Memo called "amazing" and "remarkably frank," but days later, the organization has backtracked. Why? Well, the initial statement—which the head of the lobbying arm now says was simply one staff member's "personal opinion"—called out pro-gun activists in Texas who have been showing up in fast food joints and coffee shops carrying high-powered long guns, calling the practice "downright foolishness" and the idea of toting a semiautomatic rifle as you go about your daily errands "downright weird." Needless to say, the NRA is now walking that back.

Open-carry activists had called the statement "disgusting and disrespectful," Talking Points Memo reports, and now Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, says the whole thing was "a mistake. It shouldn't have happened," he told NRA News yesterday. "I've had a discussion with the staffer who wrote that piece, and expressed his personal opinion. Our job is not to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners." He adds, "The National Rifle Association supports open carry, we support concealed carry. ... There was some confusion, we apologize, again, for any confusion that that post caused." He adds that the activists in question are protesting "the absurdity" of Texas' ban on openly carrying handguns, a prohibition the NRA is trying to change.

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Showing 3 of 173 comments
Jun 6, 2014 3:13 PM CDT
God these guys are arrogant. What makes them think that everyone knows they are good. Naturally when you see guys with guns enter a building you think they have bad intentions. Then some "good guy with a gun" will shoot first ask questions later. This is such a cluster F@#$. When the NRA becomes the voice of reason there is something wrong here.
Jun 5, 2014 10:59 PM CDT
Frankly, the time is past for one of these open carry performance pieces to end with a passerby shooting them all based on Stand Your Ground principles; since a large group of openly armed individuals is objectively a potential danger to the surrounding public space.
Jun 4, 2014 9:01 PM CDT
I am from Texas and own several guns. But even I think it is stupid to carry a rifle into a store. There is no need for one. For the most part they are large and would be hard to use in close quarters. A pistol would be my choice. But if I saw someone standing in a store with a long gun. I wouldn't go into the store.