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Yes, Virginia, You Can Carry at the NRA Convention


Holy hypocrisy, Batman! The NRA bans guns at its own convention! That was the gist of breathless reporting in the run-up to this weekend’s festivities in Nashville. Such notable and allegedly reputable purveyors of infotainment as MSNBC, the Daily News and the New York Times reveled in the blinding double standard of the nation’s preeminent gun rights org “banning working guns” from their own shindig. They were apparently parroting misinformation served up by the noted legal scholars at Moms Demand Action. The glee and condescension fairly dripped off the screen in the Times’ editorial . . .

Seventy-thousand people are expected to attend the National Rifle Association’s convention opening on Friday in Tennessee, but they won’t be allowed to carry firearms in one of the main convention venues. This may run counter to the N.R.A.’s ideas about carrying guns everywhere, from elementary schools to workplaces.

Somehow, the Times’ vaunted phalanx of fact-checkers missed the statement on the NRA’s site explaining that properly licensed attendees were free to tote to their heart’s content. And no one at the paper reads anything published west of Hoboken, either. If they had, they might have noted that ran a piece earlier in the week noting that convention-goers were free to carry as the Music City Center follows state and local laws where firearms are concerned.

The fact is that the Times and the other usual suspects were caught obscuring the true nature of the situation in a naked attempt to make some political hay…at the cost of any semblance of accuracy. Yes, one venue, the Bridgestone Arena across the street from the convention center that will be used for some events, prohibits firearms. And the NRA mandates that guns being exhibited on the show floor be rendered inoperative, a common practice at virtually all such events. Those policies, however, have precisely nothing to do with show-goers packing heat, either openly or concealed. But you can’t something like facts get in the way of an overarching agenda.

RF snapped the image of me at the top while I was checking out a Browning rifle yesterday. And that’s an FNS-9C on my ample hip. Still, no one tackled me, I wasn’t arrested or escorted off the premises, and I certainly wasn’t the only one. Before the show started we talked to the NRA as well as a few local NPD cops just to be sure we were staying on the right side of Johnny Law. So, much like news of Mark Twain’s death, we can attest that reports of double standards and the demise of gun rights at the hands of the NRA have been greatly exaggerated. If you’re planning to check out the show either today or tomorrow, strap on your favorite heater and dive on in. The water’s fine.


  1. avatar mk10108 says:

    “Still, no one tackled me, I wasn’t arrested or escorted off the premises, and I certainly wasn’t the only one. Before the show started we talked to the NRA as well as a few local NPD cops just to be sure we were staying on the right side of Johnny Law. So, much like news of Mark Twain’s death, we can attest that reports of double standards and the demise of gun rights at the hands of the NRA have been greatly exaggerated.”

    Wish I could live the dream.

  2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    Note to MSNBC, NYT, etc… Confirmation bias does not equal fact checking.

  3. avatar Bob says:

    For the Jeff Foxworthy performance they are not letting anyone carry into that room. WTF? Why not?

    For this particular detail, it seems the anti’s have a point.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      “if you’re carrying more than two guns right now…. you might be a gun nut.”

    2. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      Again, that is the venue’s restriction. As with virtually every major league sports facility in the country, it’s a gun-free zone. It’s not the NRA’s call.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        Thanks for the clarification!

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You might want to check whether alcohol is being served.

  4. avatar John in Ohio says:

    Thank you for openly carrying and thanks for posting. Fair warning though, we’ve seen time and time again that asking Johnny Law before OCing somewhere is a bad idea. Read and understand the law (and any relevant case law if you can) or pay a gun friendly attorney to research it and brief you. Officers often don’t know the law and will tell individuals what the officer wants the law to read and not what it actually states or means. Again, to all who would OC in their area, know the law or pay someone who does. Don’t rely on what officer friendly tells you. Usually, it’s a waste of time to ask the police and it telegraphs your intentions so they can get creative with the law before your arrival.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      In this circumstance, I would suggest that asking the NRA would give me a more reliable answer than I could ever research for myself. Its their event, I am sure their lawyers knew the answer before it was booked.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        I’m not faulting anyone for asking in this instance. I was making a general statement to all future OCers. We’ve had too many headaches from when a newbie calls the local police department or relies on a local manager for such information. Their few minutes on the telephone or visit to the office can translate into years, in some cases, of us having to OC against the PoPo’s advice or the manager’s mistaken interpretation of corporate policy to get it straightened out. On the open carry forums, you will read the plea, “Don’t call ahead!”

        more reliable answer than I could ever research for myself.

        In a general sense (not necessarily the NRA), one would think that but would be surprised at how much county prosecutors, city law solicitors, etc miss or don’t want to understand. 😉

  5. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    The New York Times; All the news that’s too good to fact check.

  6. avatar ThomasR says:

    Fak check? Fak Check? We don’t need no Steenkin fak check!

    1. avatar bobmcd says:

      First Aid Kit check?

    2. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      What are faks? I’ve never heard of this phenomenon!


      1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

        facts faks fax
        neither have any of the NY rags……

  7. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I’m looking for a correction/clarification LOL

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Sort of like waiting for Hell to freeze over ….

  8. avatar JC says:

    Check out John’s article over at, sounds like NRA actually forced a rule change to allow carry at the convention center (money talks! )

  9. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    Legitimate, err illegitimate “news agencies” are now getting their news from “Moms Against Common Sense”?

    That reminds you how leftist and untrustworthy most major media has become.

  10. avatar Tiru Maru says:

    Of course you had to use a picture of a archetypical OFWG instead of a YSWG (young slim white guy) or a cute woman open carrying. /sarc…. lol

    1. As Popeye says, Iyam what Iyam.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        If I had known Shannon was gonna be leading the “protests” outside, I would have come. . . . it was on the calendar, but with so much travel for the job the next few weeks, I decided to spend time w the family. And I would have open carried and tried to get a pic with Shannon so I could post on her personal FB and announce “You have been Diggled”

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          …and the false assault, battery, and harassment charges filed the next day…

          And I can just imagine the sh!t-eating grin Dirk would have on his booking photo. 😉

  11. avatar Chris Mason says:

    The link that MDA provides (below, in case anyone wants to see it) specifically says that people with permits are allowed to bring in their carry weapons. Here’s what I posted to MDA’s Facebook page in response:

    Now, I don’t see anything indicating that this article has been updated or edited (if it has, you guys should follow suit) but here’s the full text (emphasis added):

    “6. Security

    “A multilevel security plan went into works not long after Nashville was chosen as the convention destination. ALL GUNS ON DISPLAY ON THE EXHIBIT FLOOR will be nonoperational, with the firing pins removed, and any guns purchased during the NRA convention will have to be picked up at a Federal Firearms License dealer, near where the purchaser lives, and will require a legal identification. THE NRA AND MUSIC CITY CENTER HAVE CONFIRMED THAT GUN OWNERS WITH PROPER CARRY PERMITS CAN BRING THEIR GUNS INTO THE CENTER DURING THE CONVENTION. However, Bridgestone Arena, where an NRA-sponsored concert will be held Saturday, does not allow weapons.”

    So, it says that the guns “on display on the exhibit floor” will have no firing pins. From what I understand, these are typically new weapons designs on display, not something that you can try out right then and there. Even gun stores often place a lock through a weapon’s chamber to prevent theft and/or unauthorized use.

    As for purchases, I don’t think that this counts as a gun show in the sense that there will be a bunch of private gun owners looking for customers. These guys will all be manufacturers or retailers. So, since those guys make a living off of selling guns, they are legally required to conduct background checks. They’re simply following the law. It’s interesting that you’re criticizing them for that.

    On top of that, it specifically says that concealed weapons are not prohibited (provided that you have the legally required permit). I can’t help but wonder why you omitted that part, it was the very next sentence.

  12. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    I saw a gentleman open carrying a short shotgun. I believe it has a 3 round tube magazine. I don’t recall the name. Because it was the nra annual meeting know one cared.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A guy local to me here near Tampa makes those, Mark Serbu.

      And Holy Crap, Serbu turned up the volume to ’11’, he now has a version that takes a Saiga magazine!

      Serbu High Cap Super Shorty

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