Well, the National Rifle Association has finally decided to release a statement about what I call the “open carry IN YOUR FACE!” (henceforth “OCIYF!”) crowd in Texas, and the implications for reasonable gun owners and concealed carriers. The money shot?

Let’s not mince words, not only is [the open carry of long guns in public] 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.

Beyond weird, the NRA notes that these OCIYF!” activities are actually HARMING the interests of gun owners and those of us private citizens who carry firearms for person protection:

As a result of these hijinx, two popular fast food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises (more information can be found here and here). In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior. To state the obvious, that’s counterproductive for the gun owning community.

Bottom line, anyone who carries a firearm for the primary purpose of “LOOK AT MEEEEE!,” ought to seriously consider whether they’ve achieved the maturity necessary to responsibly carry a firearm in public. Or as the NRA puts it:

More to the point, it’s just not neighborly, which is out of character for the big-hearted residents of Texas. Using guns merely to 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 certainly not the NRA way.

That’s the NRA’s position.  Much more politely put than my recent Op-Ed here at Legal Insurrection, but otherwise in close alignment:  Op-Ed: “Open Carry” Activists Score Yet Another Own Goal.  Nevertheless, I’ll close here with the same observation I made at the conclusion of that earlier Op-Ed post:

If you’ve watched the news stories about Starbucks and Chipotle making corporate-level decisions to ban lawfully carried guns from their businesses, and had the vague sense that there was someone peeing in the pool—well, you were right.

Someone is. And they’re called “OCIYF!”

On a separate note, I’ll take this opportunity to let the Legal Insurrection family know that beginning this Friday, June 6 (D-Day!) I will be launching the weekly “Law of Self Defense Podcast.”  This week’s podcast will cover Stand-Your-Ground, self-defense immunity, and whatever similar topics come to mind.  Suggestions for topics to cover in future podcasts are welcome.  For more details, keep an eye out for my posts here, or check out my blog at www.lawofselfdefense.com.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.