DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – “I personally am an endowment lifetime member of the NRA and an inductee into the Golden Eagles program, and I will rip up my cards and burn my certificates on camera if they don’t change their stance,” said C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas.
Grisham is the leader of one of several Open Carry groups in Texas that are threatening to pull out of the National Rifle Association.
This comes after the NRA’s lobbying arm said in a statement on Friday that gun rights advocates who carry assault rifles into businesses have “crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness,” and that “carrying guns in public defies common sense.”
“We may be looking at needing new leadership in the NRA, because they are capitulating to politics,” said Texas Carry president Terry Holcomb Sr. “Those of us that know what the Second Amendment is for and believe in the Second Amendment, and know that it’s a right, are not going to accept the NRA’s position, and the NRA is going to lose members over this.”
It was just last month that Open Carry gun rights activists walked into a Chipotle restaurant in Dallas toting assault rifles, and caused a scare at a Jack in the Box after protesting outside. Similar cases have happened at Chili’s and Sonic restaurants, prompting the restaurant chains to ask that long-guns no longer be brought into their stores.
In its statement, the NRA alluded to those incidents, saying that it’s “a rare sight to see someone sidled up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slug across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms.” The group continued, “It’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself.”
“I would have to question on where they’re going with this and I’m kind of concerned,” said Kory Watkins, head of Open Carry Tarrant County, which was the center of at least one of those incidents.
Grisham thinks that it is more than a coincidence that the NRA is releasing this statement just ahead of the November midterm elections. “What they’re doing is caving into a national gun control effort to denounce us, and it’s working,” said Grisham. “I’ve encouraged them to come out and see for themselves what our rallies are like instead of listening to the media narrative at the national level, and they’ve refused to do so. The NRA is really talking out of ignorance.”
Holcomb added that, if the NRA does not change its stance, the powerhouse organization will face repercussions. “If they continue this position, we will actively try to move people from the NRA to GOA or another alternative.”
Gun Owners of America said that their door is open to anyone who has been disheartened by the NRA’s stance on the Open Carry issue. “If you want to come to GOA, you are welcome here,” said Michael Hammond, legal counsel for the organization. “We are fighting a war of perception, and if gun owners allow themselves to be subdued by the narrative that guns are bad, guns are evil, we need to hide guns, then we are only going to see the Second Amendment suffer more.”
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