Updated on April 17, 2015
Why Is The NRA Selling Away My Rights?
I have been a card carrying NRA Endowment Life and Golden Eagles member (I joined this because the NRA was looking for “patriotic NRA members who feel they are ready to assume a more prominent role in our cause,” which I assumed meant gun rights) for several years. So, I speak as an NRA member and CHL holder with a bone to pick. The TSRA, which is basically the Texas arm of the NRA, has released its “top priority bills filed to date” list. The TSRA seems to be misleading its members in order to push for licensing away your rights.
According to an email sent out to members, “Currently eight separate bills have been filed dealing with the issue of openly carrying a handgun. Six would create licensed open carry based on current concealed handgun law. The licensing process and reciprocity agreements with other states would stay intact. Two of the bills listed are what proponents call ‘Constitutional Carry’ meaning carrying a handgun openly without the state-issued license.
If licensed open carry passes, Texas would become an addition to a growing list of states with contemporary open carry laws such as Oklahoma.”
There are several concerning statements here that I believe speak volumes about this supposed “gun rights” organization. First, it talks about the “growing list of states with contemporary open carry laws such as Oklahoma” while ignoring the faster growing list of unlicensed open carry states. Second, and what I think is more underhanded, the email is quick to point out that the licensed open carry legislation they are pushing would ensure that “reciprocity agreements with other states would stay intact.” However, when talking about the two “constitutional carry” bills, they seem to conveniently leave out the fact that under those bills the reciprocity agreements with other states would ALSO be left intact since they leave the CHL PROCESS in place, only making that process voluntary for those that want the perks that come with getting one (easy access into the capitol, easier purchase of firearms through an FFL, etc).
I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but it follows the common TSRA mantra that the only responsible manner to open carry is with the permission of the government in the form of an expensive and cumbersome license. Arizona’s CHL enjoys reciprocity with 34 other states and they have unlicensed open and concealed carry within the state – constitutional carry. Texas’ CHL is only accepted in 30 other states and we DON’T have unlicensed carry. The TSRA talks about the greatness of “if licensed open carry passes” while ignoring the obvious: if unlicensed open carry carry passes, we join the ranks of 2/3 of the open carry states, not the minority 1/3 with licenses like Oklahoma.
These facts beg a simple question: why is the NRA/TSRA that I’ve given literally thousands of dollars to over the years – in addition to purchasing merchandise – working so hard to license away my rights? Is this really where my money has been going all these years? Open Carry Texas and the National Association for Gun Rights is demanding ultimate respect for our rights without licensing and expensive hurdles to jump through while maintaining the current CHL on a voluntary basis like Arizona. It’s telling that the TSRA would tout Oklahoma while ignoring Arizona which seems to enjoy BETTER reciprocity than our state while allowing its citizens to carry without a license within its border. Oh, and let’s not forget that the Arizona CHL is nowhere near as expensive as Texas.
So, let me recap: Texas’ CHL is accepted in fewer states than Arizona, but more expensive. The NRA/TSRA is putting their weight behind licensing and trying to pass it off as somehow protecting Texas reciprocity without telling their members (me) that the two constitutional carry bills do the same thing. I think I’ll keep giving my money to Open Carry Texas, an organization that seems to actually want to fight for our rights.
Why doesn’t the TSRA/NRA seem to support the rights of Texans to keep and bear arms? Are they trying to protect the A+ ratings that they hand out to legislators like candy? Are they personally invested in the CHL laws that generally require “NRA-certified” instructors? Do they view Texans as less responsible, less capable, less safe, and/or less trustworthy to handle having our rights returned to us than citizens of 31 other states? Why hasn’t the NRA/TSRA come to the rescue of the nearly two dozen Texans unlawfully arrested throughout Texas for the lawful and safe exercise of 2A rights, while groups like Open Carry Texas, Texas Carry, Lone Star Gun Rights, and Come And Take It Texas have spent thousands helping them fight? Instead, these groups attacked the victims – the law abiding gun owners. Why isn’t the NRA/TSRA suing the city of San Antonio for violating the state pre-emption law that bars them from creating more restrictive gun laws than the state? Besides having extravagant balls and wining and dining legislators, what are they doing with my money?
As an Endowment Life and Golden Eagles member, I want to know why MY lobbyist organizations aren’t fighting for my rights…uninfringed!