Attendance at last weekend’s wildly successful 144th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Nashville surpassed the 70,000 members expected to visit Music City. Final figures put the total at 78,865 attendees for the three-day event—second only to 86,000 who attended the annual meetings in Houston in 2013.
The crowd outpaced last year’s total 75,269 in Indianapolis, and surpassed the previous record attendance for any event at the two-year-old Music City Center in downtown Nashville.
Next year, the 145th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits will be held May 20-22 in Louisville, Ky.
Mississippi: What Winning Looks Like
Firearm freedoms continued to expand Friday when Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed two measures that, among other things, allow residents to carry off-body (meaning in purses and briefcases) without a permit.
According to NRA-ILA, “The new NRA-backed laws will reduce concealed-carry permit fees, allow permitless concealed carry in purses and briefcases, and streamline enhanced carry training requirements for active military and veterans.” The measures also protect common ammunition from BATFE overreach, lower the permit age for National Guard/Reserve personnel and clarify local powers to regulate carry.
We at A1F send a huge “thanks” to the advocates, volunteers, legislators and executives who worked diligently to pass these measures. While all our other constitutionally guaranteed freedoms become smaller with every executive order and bureaucratic regulation, our Second Amendment freedom is the only one that is expanding. This constant, inexorable advance of firearm freedom is what “winning the gun argument” looks like.
Hillary Clinton: The Best We Can Do?
When Wayne LaPierre took the stage in Nashville, the NRA executive vice president and CEO called for sending leaders to Washington “who are among America’s very best.” He then went on to outline why Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has announced her candidacy, was anything but America’s very best.
He recounted her triumphs as secretary of state (none), and reminded us of her scandals (“almost endless”). He questioned values like honesty, integrity and virtue, and wondered who she is really serving—the people … or herself. And LaPierre ultimately concluded that, if elected, “Hillary Clinton will bring a permanent darkness of deceit and despair forced upon the American people to endure.”
LaPierre also vowed NRA will fight with everything it has. “We will not let our Bill of Rights be Hillary’s new server, wiped from the pages of history.”
Ohio Considering “Permitless” Carry
A proposal under consideration by Ohio lawmakers would allow residents 21 and older who are not ineligible to own a gun under federal law to carry a concealed firearm without a right-to-carry permit. The measure, by Republican Rep. Ron Hood of Ashville, is very similar to the one just signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
The legislation wouldn’t do away with Ohio’s permitting system, so those wishing to could still obtain a right-to carry permit. Five other states—Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, Wyoming and Kansas—currently have laws allowing “permitless” carry.
Bloomberg Was In New York, But Neville Was At Columbine
Colorado State Rep. Patrick Neville remembers Columbine High School all too well—he was there on the fateful day 16 years ago. Now he wonders if “people I’d known since elementary school … might still be with us” if only some of the “heroic staff … had been able to equip themselves.”
Neville has sponsored a bill that would allow concealed carry by rigorously background-checked permit holders on school grounds. “We’ve tried it the other way for years now … shooters are not deterred by a flashy sign on the door.”
The usual detractors queue up: “It’s a fantasy,” they claim, that a good guy with a gun will “come blasting around a blind corner and take out a shooter.” These folks must get their firearms knowledge from Hollywood and Michael Bloomberg, not the example set by 11-plus million Americans who carry, and who often protect themselves and others.
Elderly Arkansas Homeowner Fends Off Attack
An 80-year-old man in Texarkana, Ark., was at home when 25-year-old Garrett Heath Halbert allegedly entered the residence and began assaulting him. The homeowner was wounded during the altercation but managed to fatally shoot Albert. The homeowner was taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Police are investigating the case, but it appears that this armed citizen legally used a firearm to even the odds against an attacker who physically outmatched him.