The head of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm has apologized for a statement posted on its website last week that denounced the tactics of Texas gun rights activists who brought long guns into restaurants.
Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, went on an NRA News show to distance the group from its statement, which he said was one staffer’s “personal opinion.”
The host of the show noted that the “anti-gun media” seized on the NRA-ILA’s statement when it was released and implied that the statement had been misinterpreted.
The statement called the actions of Open Carry Texas members who carried guns into restaurants “downright weird” and said the demonstrations in support of open carry of guns could be counterproductive, making people who might be open-minded about guns feel uncomfortable.
Cox walked back that statement, telling NRA News: “An alert went out that referred to [the Open Cary Texas demonstrations] as ‘weird’ or somehow not normal, and that was a mistake. It shouldn’t have happened. I’ve had a discussion with the staffer who wrote that piece and expressed his personal opinion, and our job is not to criticise the lawful behaviour of fellow gun owners. Our job is to effectuate policy changes that expands and protects our members’ right of self-defence.”
He also said: “The National Rifle Association supports open carry. … What we have in Texas is somewhat unique because it’s a shared goal. All of us believe that the limitation and the prohibition on openly carrying a handgun in Texas needs to be changed.”
After the initial statement condemning the demonstrations, Open Carry Texas posted a statement on its Facebook page with a photo of an NRA membership card that had been cut up.
Their statement said, in part: “If [the NRA] does not retract their disgusting and disrespectful comments, OCT will have no choice but to withdraw its full support of the NRA and establish relationships with other gun rights organisations that fight for ALL gun rights, instead of just paying them lip service the way the NRA appears to be doing.”
You can see the full interview with NRA News here:
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