The nation’s staunchest defender of the Second Amendment has told gun activists in Texas who insist on carrying assault-style rifles in public places to knock it off.
In a statement issued late last week, the National Rifle Association (NRA) called out so-called “open carry” groups in Texas that have been frightening restaurant customers and motorists by approaching them while carrying AK-47s and AR-15s.
The NRA applauded Texas for a “robust gun culture,” but noted that a number of activists had “crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness.”
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
“[I]t 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,” the NRA continued. “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.”
In short, the NRA accused the gun activists’ “hijinx” of curtailing gun rights by forcing restaurant owners to ban firearms.
“Firearm owners face enough challenges these days; we don’t need to be victims of friendly fire,” the organization concluded.
Open Carry Texas President CJ Grisham told Mother Jones that the NRA had taken the side of gun-control advocates.
“When you’ve got the [Texas State Rifle Association] and the NRA basically coming down on us for standing up for our rights, that’s where our problem is,” Grisham explained. “Because now you guys are siding with Moms Demand Action.”
Last week, the gun-rights group Open Carry Tarrant County sued City of Arlington for changing a city ordinance that made it more difficult for its members to approach motorists with pocket-sized copies of the Constitution while they were carrying rifles.
And over the weekend, more than a 100 members of Open Carry Tarrant County showed up at Home Depot parking lot in North Richland Hills to protest the City of Arlington’s rules about approaching motorists.
Watch the video below from KDFW, broadcast May 31, 2014.