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The NRA squares off against ... gun owners?

By Alex Allen     Jun 2, 2014 in Politics
A very controversial topic has left the gun community divided as the National Rifle Association takes some heat from its own supporters.
The NRA is the last organization you would expect gun owners to be criticizing but the nearly 150 year old nonprofit is certainly feeling a draft from some members of the gun rights community.
It's no secret that many restaurants and businesses have made the decision to ban firearms from their premises following a series of recent open carry events. Sonic, Chili's and Chipotle Mexican Grill are just a few restaurant chains who have decided to get on the "no gun bandwagon" after gun rights activists decided to openly carry rifles and shotguns into their facilities.
Now, one of the gun community's oldest friends, the National Rifle Association, has decided to speak out on open carry. And their statements on the issue have some gun owners questioning their longtime NRA membership.
The NRA posted a statement on their ILA (Institution for Legislative Action) website last Friday. In the statement they explained that, while they support open carry, they believe the recent actions of some gun rights advocates in Texas have been impractical and even "weird." One portion of the statement reads:
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. 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.
Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states, and it is relatively common and uncontroversial in some places.
Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it 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.
Of course, many gun rights advocates have not taken too kindly to the NRA's statements on open carry. The Open Carry Texas organization recently made a Facebook post criticizing the NRA, suggesting that they are "dividing their members."
It seems that with the NRA's more 'moderate' statements in recent years, many gun rights supporters have been moving their support to uncompromising groups like Gun Owners of America. Only time will tell where this divide within the gun community will lead.
More about NRA, gun owners, Open Carry
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