The National Rifle Association is pushing back against the actions of pro-gun activists, namely those with the group Open Carry Texas, for flaunting their semiautomatic rifles while dining at various fast food restaurants and called the demonstrations “weird,” “scary” and downright foolish.
In recent months, members of Open Carry Texas have made a habit of entering fast food restaurants with AK-47s and AR-15s slung across their shoulders. Though open carry is legal in the Lone Star State, the group’s demonstrations caused multiple eateries, most recently Chipotle, to ban firearms at their restaurants.
Now, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action is publicly denouncing the actions of these gun-toting groups and called their “hijinx … counterproductive for the gun owning community.”
“[I]t is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms,” the pro-gun organization said in a statement. “Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself.
“To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.”
While both handguns and long guns can be legally carried publicly in Texas, the NRA called Open Carry Texas’ demonstrations — which have taken place at restaurants including Starbucks, Jack-in-the-Box and McDonald’s — “downright foolishness.”
“Using guns to merely draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That’s not the Texas way. And that’s not certainly the NRA way,” the statement continues.
While the organization noted that it doesn’t support bans on open carry, the NRA warned that the actions of Open Carry Texas and its gun activists only jeopardize others’ gun rights.
“Firearms owners face enough challenges these days,” the statement concludes, “we don’t need to be victims of friendly fire.”