In Florida, NRA made its position on open carry crystal clear just over three months ago by saying:
“NRA [is not] opposed to open carry, it is just not a priority right now…”
This came right after Florida’s Open Carry Bill (2011 SB234) was gutted on the Senate floor and an effort to save the provision in the house was derailed. The bill was amended to conform it to NRA’s sole “Open Carry” talking point. NRA would only talk about preventing arrest for accidental exposure of a concealed pistol by a licensee. So that’s what the legislature gave them, a subjectively worded fix to the Open Carry Ban to allow for so-called “accidental exposure” protection for Concealed Carry.
But does this alert, sent today, signal a change in NRA priorities?
“Missouri: Open Carry Under Attack In Rock Hill!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Call Your Alderman and Urge Them to Vote NO to The Ban!
An ordinance was introduced at last week’s Rock Hill Board of Aldermen meeting which would ban the open carry of firearms in the city of Rock Hill. Currently, city municipal code allows those who possess a valid concealed carry permit to also carry their firearm openly. The proposal introduced this week, if adopted, would amend the existing law and put an end to the practice of openly carrying a firearm for self-defense in Rock Hill. A vote on the matter is expected to take place at the next meeting on Tuesday, September 6, so it is very important that you contact your Alderman TODAY and urge him or her to oppose this proposed measure.
Concealed carry laws will not be affected by this amendment since, according to Missouri’s preemption laws, cities only have the authority to regulate open carry and not concealed carry. However, it is still important to call your Alderman and ensure that your voice is heard by urging the Board members to respect your right to carry a firearm openly!“
A Google search for the term “Open Carry” on nra.org produces less than two full pages of results. Almost all of that content was created over the past few months. This is in sharp contrast to years of content that make up the 19 full pages of search results for the term “Concealed Carry” on nra.org (excluding duplicates).
Clearly NRA is warming to Open Carry but it is also clear that it has a favorite son. Concealed Carry, and related legislation, has been a hallmark of NRA for decades. Concealed Carry was where NRA’s attentions really needed to be focused. In the early 80’s only 5 states completely banned Open Carry.
Contrastingly, very few states had “Shall Issue” Concealed Carry or Constitutional Carry and NRA had to change the map. NRA was also fighting rampant gun-control that completely disarmed Americans in cities and counties across the country.
For most of that time, Open Carry was largely seen as the “Prodigal Son”. There would be an occasional story of someone carrying unconcealed to the store and the police showing up. It was dismissed as something to just be done in the woods or as a form of protest that was practiced by people who were just trying to make a point.
In 2004 second amendment rights activists began using social networking sites, most notably OpenCarry.org, to coordinate and move Unconcealed Carry issues back into the mainstream. Now people are starting to realize that they have always had a right to carry in their state, usually without any license or permit. They are organizing formal organizations and grass-roots movements to legalize, normalize, and deregulate the carry of firearms by responsible law-abiding Americans.
It turns out that Concealed Carry is the Prodigal Son, recently returned home to much ado and the loving embrace of NRA because it was dead (never born in many places) but is now alive in 49 states. Licenses are easily obtained or unnecessary in 42 states.
Open Carry most rightly fills the role of the older ever-loyal brother, unconcealed carry has always been legal throughout most of America, it never left in 43 states. Like in the parable, open carriers are left saying “these many years I have served you…” They still wait for a clear answer about when NRA will help gun owners come out of the closet in states where they need help. More and more people are asking the question: Why not just support Carry? H.T. / Walls of the City