NRA’s Own Prodigal Son Story – Open and Concealed Carry

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!

via NRA-ILA :: Missouri: Open Carry Under Attack In Rock Hill!.

A Google search for the term “Open Carry” on 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 (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, 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

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8 Responses to NRA’s Own Prodigal Son Story – Open and Concealed Carry

  1. And yet the NRA CCW lawsuit in California (Peruta v San Diego) tells the court of appeals that California’s ban on Loaded Open Carry is not unconstitutional if the court makes CCWs “shall issue.” The NRA lawyer goes on to warn that court that failing to do so would result in the ban being overturned as well as the “drastic” consequence of invalidating Gun Free School Zones as well.

    Regardless of what it tells its membership, what the NRA lawyers say in court is what counts. The NRA opposes Open Carry. The NRA supports Gun Free School Zones.

    FYI, the NRA lawyer also filed a brief in another California gun case saying that gun free school zones are constitutional.

    Also, the NRA opposes a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit to overturn California’s ban on Loaded Open Carry. The only reason they are seeking an injunction against Illinois’ ban is to pressure the legislature into enacting a CCW law. Once they have that, it will be the last you will ever hear about Open Carry from the NRA.

    Memo to NRA – STOP HELPING US!

  2. Philip Read says:

    The NRA appears to be following an agenda which is unclear. Theyshould be defending the right of the Second Amendment in it entirity which gives people the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  3. Philip Read says:

    The NRA is not committed to protecting the Second Amendment by protecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms and this right shall not be infringed.

  4. Charles, you’re wrong. One-hundred percent flat-out wrong about the NRA supporting Gun Free School Zones.

    I’ve written ads, campaigns, speeches, videos, etc for the NRA since 1993 and have access to the inner-most workings of the NRA. No, I do not like everyone I deal with there, but I can also emphatically state that the NRA does not support or favor Gun Free Schools of any shape, form or fashion.

    The NRA is not perfect, but I will tell you tin-foil hat wearing people this: Without the NRA, you would not see 49 states with concealed carry and you would not see the resurgence in the Second Amendment that you are seeing today. Period.

    Momentum creates momentum. When you get the core fired up with small victories, you then press on for more. It is easy to lose your civil rights in one fell swoop of the pen, such as in 1968 and 1993, but it takes much longer to get them back. Laws are HARD to get undone.

    There is a popular notion that the NRA does not want all the anti-gun laws to go away because then they’d have no reason to exist. This was put forward by the little pissant lawyer who was FIRED from the NRA for continuously lobbying for trigger locks behind their backs.

    Two things about that:

    1. Anti-gunners will never go away. Ever. Same as anti-hunters. There will always be a need for an Institute for Legislative Action.

    2. The NRA was around for just over a century before they got pushed into the political arena. They’d just as soon not have to be in it whereas groups like GOA exist solely for political reasons.

    And finally, roughly five percent of gun owners give a damn enough to shell out a measly $35 bucks a year for membership, but expect the rest of us who are members to “straighten the NRA out.” Bravo-Sierra. As far as I’m concerned, any gun owner who isn’t a member of the NRA (or GOA or any other pro-gun group) is every bit the freeloader as the welfare queen cranking out babies then crying because she ain’t getting enough in food stamps.

    If even half of the gun-owners were members of the NRA, there wouldn’t be an anti-gun law on the books anywhere and you could open-carry any damned place you please–because no politician is going to want 40 MILLION angry constituents conspiring and financing to unseat him/her.

    Think about it.


  5. Chris says:

    One of the things I’ve always heard is “follow the money” and if you do so you will see that for the NRA the money is with licensed (concealed) carry. While I can’t speak for the NRA I would say that this plays a huge role in things and is why they normally only support things that require training.

  6. “An Ordinary American” was either too lazy to read the link to the brief from the NRA lawyer in the Peruta v San Diego case I provided or his grasp of English is too limited to understand the following quote from the brief:

    “Nor did the court address the unintended legal consequences of declaring UOC the constitutionally protected method of carry. For instance, such a ruling may place in jeopardy the lawfulness of Cal. Pen § 626.9 (Gun Free School Zone Act, banning open carry within 1000 feet of a school facility), a far more drastic result than granting Plaintiffs the relief they seek.”

    As I mentioned before, this is not the first time this NRA attorney has filed a brief in support of Gun Free School Zones.

    Some of us don’t drink Kool-Aid.

  7. Ron Proffitt says:

    I have all ways felt that if you can have a conceal carry permit you should be able to carry any where.
    I mean any where and any state.

  8. Here in NH, the NRA’s lobbyist, John Hohenwarter (from PA) led an NRA attack on both open carry (which has existed here for years) and a constitutional carry (sometimes called “Vermont Carry”) bill that was on the brink of passage.

    His long-term objective is to get our carry law amended to require, what else, “NRA-certified” instructors. In other words, guys who have not only paid the NRA for questionable training but have gone on to pay it even more for more questionable train-the-trainer training.

    Not surprised to see that somebody from NRA’s PR firm and/or army of DC media tools showed up here to post (anonymously, of course) that same kind of bogus spin he has been putting in their ad campaigns.

    “I’m the NRA, and be vewwy qwyet– I’m hunting wabbits!” — E. Fudd, Burbank CA.

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