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The Grey Beard Biker has written several articles on the National Rifle Association recently. The NRA is still very important to gun owners across the United States, but right now it continues to remain in a state of pure chaos. This needs to be remedied quickly, as we are heading swiftly into the 2020 General Election season.

Controversies Galore at the NRA

In my last article, which you can read HERE, I had outlined the most glaring issues/controversies this once proud organization is dealing with:

  1. Ackerman-McQueen lawsuit
  2. New York Attorney General’s lawsuit
  3. Lawsuit and counter lawsuit with previous president, Oliver North
  4. Termination of NRA-ILA chief, Chris Cox
  5. Shuttering NRA TV
  6. Lavish spending by NRA leadership – especially Wayne LaPierre
  7. Culture of fear within the employee ranks
  8. Underfunded employee pension plan

These all represent trouble on the flanks of the NRA and are inevitably causing members to walk away – which may be the most significant hurdle they face. Additionally, they have lost their focus – which should be exclusively protecting the Second Amendment.

I follow Gun Talk and read an interesting article industry icon Tom Gresham penned last week. This article really sums up what I have been writing about over my past three blog posts on the NRA. It is worth quoting:

Gun Talk News, “Wayne Must Go”

“The leaders at the NRA and I’m talking about YOU, the board of directors, as well as the hired help, have spent years … decades … setting up a system which gives key people massive financial rewards. In my view, it’s at least malfeasance, and it might even be corruption. Monster salaries, private jets, slush funds, insane budgets spent on TV shows, as well as PR and advertising campaigns designed to do nothing more than generate more funds which can be siphoned off for dubious programs…”

“It has greatly jeopardized what most members believe should be the NRA’s core mission – protecting the Second Amendment and our gun rights. In fact, it looks as though the leadership has subverted the core mission into just making themselves rich.”

“LaPierre now is a symbol of this financial meltdown. In short, no matter what is done, if he remains in this post (or has any role at the NRA), it is utterly impossible to restore the trust of the membership.”

The Grey Beard Biker is an Endowment Life Member of the NRA. He also agrees with Tom Gresham. The membership of the NRA cannot regain trust in the organization with LaPierre at the helm. While he may not be singularly responsible for all of the troubles the organization faces today, he is the executive running the ship there. The buck stops with him.

There are some grass roots efforts taking place to right the NRA ship – most notably, Save the 2A. I encourage you to go to their website and sign up for updates from them. Read their list of necessary fixes. If you agree with them, sign and mail their petition right away (mine is in the mail). The first petition is to set minimum attendance requirements for board members and must be received by Save the 2A in the next ten days.

The NRA is a big organization, which used to have deep pockets. Setting minimum attendance requirements for their board of directors is a start. But in the Grey Beard Biker’s opinion, no amount of fixes will right the ship as long as Wayne is running the NRA. It is time to retire, sir.

Grey Beard Biker

Recent Grey Beard Biker NRA Posts:

NRA’s Troubles Continue

Saving the NRA – It’s Up To Us

Greetings fellow bikers. Summer is nearly upon us, and if you are like me, you will be carrying a pistol on your belt, ankle or boot. On our longer road trips, it is sometimes impossible to ride through states which recognize the Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit (HCP). This makes it difficult to carry legally.

While there have been states which allow for some type of handgun carry since the early 1920s, concealed carry permitting was not adopted by any state until Georgia did so in 1976. Indiana followed in 1980, Maine and North Dakota in 1985 and South Dakota in 1986. The floodgates opened soon thereafter, with 22 other states creating some kind of licensing for concealed carry over the next ten years. And while the formation of gun control groups (Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, etc.) were to come years later, the Left immediately jumped in and said these laws would create scenes of Dodge City – with “blood flowing in the streets.” Naturally, there was a lot of media attention and states which were firmly controlled by the Democratic Party knuckled under and avoided legislation to allow for concealed carry programs. A few opted to pander to gun owners by creating “May Issue” programs – which were essentially the same as having no concealed carry law since a specified government official would decide if you really needed to carry a concealed firearm. Very few citizens are approved in these states. Today, every state has enacted a concealed carry licensing program, with Illinois being the last, having been forced by court order to do so in 2014.

Like other states with very restrictive gun laws, Illinois will not honor or provide any sort of reciprocity with any other state. This is the rub. When you are traveling, like we did recently, and riding through one of these states, you could be arrested for having a handgun anywhere on your person. These are almost always felony charges, which may lead to you not being approved for future gun purchases.

Your lovable Grey Beard Biker believes the best solution for the current patchwork of concealed carry laws would be a national constitutional carry amendment. However, this is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. What can be done more easily, now that conservatives control both Federal legislative bodies and the executive branch, is national reciprocity. We have a very realistic opportunity to do this as a bill has already been introduced.

On January 3, 2017, North Carolina Representative Richard Hudson introduced H.R. 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 in the House of Representatives. Since that time 208 other house members have signed on as co-sponsors, including three Democrats. Here is what the congress.gov/bill website provides as summary text for H.R. 38:

This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.

A qualified individual must: (1) be able to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by; or be able to carry a concealed firearm in, his, or her state of residence.

Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.

In simple terms, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 will allow a handgun carry permit holder in Tennessee to legally conceal carry their handgun in any state which has a concealed carry permit for their residents. Since all 50 states have such programs, you could carry legally in all 50 states. One would also assume this reciprocity would be honored by the District of Columbia, since they also have a “may issue” concealed carry permitting program. The bill will not grant open carry privileges – at least in states which do not have an open carry provision -and the permittee will have to abide by all concealed carry laws in force in the state they are in.

In simple terms, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 will allow a handgun carry permit holder in Tennessee to legally conceal carry their handgun in any state which has a concealed carry permit for their residents. Since all 50 states have such programs, you could carry legally in all 50 states. One would also assume this reciprocity would be honored by the District of Columbia, since they also have a “may issue” concealed carry permitting program. The bill will not grant open carry privileges – at least in states which do not have an open carry provision -and the permittee will have to abide by all concealed carry laws in force in the state they are in.

The House of Representatives haa passed this bill. At this time, I’m fairly certain it would need to be reintroduced in a now Democratic controlled House of Representatives. But it could still pass again as there are plenty of Democrat legislators living in states that are very pro-second amendment. In 2017, the Republican controlled U.S. Senate, controlled by senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) never let the bill come out of committee. But it’s not too late.

What can you do? – Contact your U.S. representative, and both of your U.S. Senators, and urge them to support a National Reciprocity Bill. You can go to this NRA-ILA website to reach your lawmakers: National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Molon Labe,
The Grey Beard Biker

This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.