On June 4, the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Chris Cox apologized for a published statement by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) that described openly carrying an AR-15 or AK-47 for demonstration purposes as “weird.”
On June 2, Breibart News reported that the NRA-ILA released the statement referring to the open carry demonstrations that had taken place in Chipotle, Jack in the Box, Chili’s, and Sonic as “downright weird.”
Cox took time to clarify the NRA’s stance on open carry and to apologize for the negative statement about activists:
The National Right Association supports open carry. We support concealed carry. We have led the charge across the country, not only to protect our members’ rights to self-defense, but to expand [them]. You’ve seen this through the parking lot bills, the right to carry bills, and our open carry efforts. We believe that people should own guns safely and responsibly. That’s what we teach. That’s what we’re about.
He went on to say that those openly carrying long guns in pursuit of getting the open carry of handguns legalized in states like Texas are in pursuit of a “shared goal.”
Cox stated, “All of us believe the limitation and the prohibition on openly carrying a handgun in Texas need to be changed.” He added, “We’re getting close” to changing that law, and this “ultimately comes down to a tactics discussion,” in which “some people think the best way to effectuate that sort of policy change is in protest.” The protest to which he was referring was the act of “openly and legally” carrying long guns in public.
He then referenced the NRA-ILA alert that “went out [referring] to this type of behavior as ‘weird’ or somehow not normal.” As an apology, he said, “That was a mistake. It should not have happened. … Our job is not to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners.”
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