U.S. News


NRA Apologizes For Calling Open Carry Protests 'Weird'

The NRA is backing away from a previous statement that discouraged members from openly carrying semi-automatic weapons in restaurants.
Posted at 7:33 AM, Jun 04, 2014

The National Rifle Association is walking back comments it made last week criticizing open carry demonstrators in Texas whose behavior it initially called "weird" and "scary."

CHRIS COX: "That was a mistake. It shouldn't have happened. I've had a discussion with the staffer who wrote that piece ... Our job's not to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners." (Via NRA News)

That was chief NRA lobbyist Chris Cox, and this is the piece he's referring to: a May 30 statement from the NRA calling the carrying of assault weapons in public "downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself."

Here's what they're talking about — one of many instances where open carry protesters in Texas brought semi-automatic rifles to restaurants including Sonic and Chili's to demonstrate their Second Amendment rights. (Via CBS)

In another video, posted by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, open carry protesters follow and provoke a Marine veteran.

"Are you gonna' cry? It sounds like you're about to cry."

Videos like that really picked up attention due to focus from the gun control group Moms Demand Action. In the last couple of weeks, the Texas open carry demonstrations have been big national news.

And you wouldn't exactly call it positive press. The NRA's opponents labeled the demonstrations an example of how far gun supporters had drifted from mainstream America.

That was pointed out in the NRA's statement criticizing those open carry protesters, but that statement created a PR headache for the NRA, who seemed to be disowning its own members. Hence, this week's apology. (Via Fox News)

Chipotle, Sonic and Chili's are among the restaurants that have banned firearms since open carry demonstrations began. Home Depot's ownership has said its stores would welcome open carry demonstrators — and their AKs.