Check out the statement that the NRA issues about the open carry of long guns in private businesses.
Here at NRA, we are big fans of responsible behavior … legal mandates, not so much. We think the Founders of this country were right to trust its people with the freedom to make their own choices. We also think they were wise to build checks into our constitutional system so that one view could not easily dominate the others and so that officials could be held accountable for their decisions.
As gun owners, whether or not our decisions are dictated by the law, we are still accountable for them. And we owe it to each other to act as checks on bad behavior before the legal system steps in and does it for us. If we exercise poor judgment, our decisions will have consequences. These consequences could be simple and transitory, such as watching a trophy buck bound away into the woods after a missed shot from an improperly sighted rifle. They could also be lasting and consequential, such as turning an undecided voter into an antigun voter because of causing that person fear or offense. In ways small and large, we are all in this together, and we all have a role to play in preserving our cherished freedoms for ourselves and future generations.
Let’s take just a couple of examples. In each case, just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done. In each case, gun owners would do well to consider the effect their behavior has on others, whether fellow gun owners or not.
One issue that has been in the news recently is so-called “smart” guns. The theory here is to create a gun that can only be fired by an authorized user, typically through the use of a transmitter/receiver system or through a biometric interface. In principle, the idea would seem to have merit, at least in some circumstances. Certainly, the NRA doesn’t oppose anything that would make firearms more appealing or accessible to a larger segment of the American public. Not everybody has guns for the same reason, and we believe people are perfectly capable of determining for themselves what best suits their needs.
In doing so, however, they should first arm themselves with the facts. As we and others have reported previously (here, here, and here, for example) “smart” gun technology has darker implications as well.
Moreover, the issue of “smart” guns is clouded by an ill-conceived New Jersey law passed in 2002. As stated in its legislative declaration, this law requires “that, within a specified period of time after the date on which … personalized handguns are deemed to be available for retail sales purposes, no other type of handgun shall be sold or offered for sale by any registered or licensed firearms dealer in this State.”