The National Rifle Association has finally found an expansion of gun rights it doesn't like: selling alcohol at gun shows.
The powerful lobbying group is opposing a Texas proposal to allow the sale of booze along with firearms. But the N.R.A., which has pushed for more guns to be allowed in schools and in bars, is not arguing against the idea on the premise that guns and alcohol are a potentially dangerous mix.
Instead, the N.R.A. is pooh-poohing the plan because it comes with too many strings attached, according to an alert sent Tuesday by its legislative action team.
The proposed rules, as currently written, could have a devastating impact on Friends of NRA (FONRA) events in the Lone Star State.
In particular, the N.R.A. is taking issue with parts of the rule that would restrict events from being held in private facilities like hotels, as well as bans on"live ammunition." And not only would the guns have to be unloaded, they would have to be disabled to a point where they were not "readily convertible for use as a firearm," the N.R.A. wrote.
Essentially, then, the firearms must be disabled to the point of destruction. So that beautiful shotgun or rifle your local retailer donated as a live auction item for your charity event would have to be disassembled and disabled so that it cannot be readily convertible for use as a firearm in order to appear on the auction table.
The group also voiced concern with a mandate that shooting ranges and clubs enforce "unspecified 'safety guidelines.'" The N.R.A. concluded:
And even though, as mentioned earlier, these new regulations were ostensibly drafted to allow alcohol sales at gun shows, they could actually end these events as we know them – even if the promoter had NO plans to sell alcohol on-premises."
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission made the proposal last week, and there is a 30-day comment period before any changes are made, according to the Associated Press.