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NRA says Open Carry Texas demonstrations 'downright scary'

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December 7, 2013: Stephanie McDonald and James Franklin buy coffee while participating in an open carry demonstration in Texas (AP).

The National Rifle Association has issued a strongly-worded criticism of a fellow gun rights group, calling its practice of so-called "open carry" demonstrations "downright scary."

The criticisms of Open Carry Texas were noted in an unsigned post published Friday on the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action page. Open Carry Texas members have become known for gathering in public places, mostly notably restaurants, carrying large, high-powered rifles.

Most recently, Sonic, Chipotle, and Chili's joined Starbucks, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, and Applebee's in banning firearms from their premises after protests by Open Carry Texas. 

"Let’s not mince words," the post on the NRA's site said, "not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

"Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners," the NRA wrote. "That’s not the Texas way. And that’s certainly not the NRA way."

Open Carry Texas slammed the NRA Monday in a post on its Facebook page, saying, "The NRA has refused to learn for themselves how Open Carry Texas conducts itself other than what the liberal media and [former New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg funded gun control extremists have falsely portrayed. The more the NRA continues to divide its members by attacking some aspects of gun rights instead of supporting all gun rights, the more support it will lose."

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