The Corner

The New York Daily News Gets the Wrong End of the Stick on Firearms — Again

This report, from the New York Daily News, is incorrect:

The National Rifle Association wants guns at schools, but not its own annual convention.

The NRA has banned working guns from its annual convention this year in Nashville, Tenn., according to a report in The Tennessean. Instead the group will require the thousands of firearms displayed at the event to be nonoperational, with their firing pins removed to ensure safety.

The group will use the event, with an expected attendance of 70,000, to boast of its opposition to gun regulation of all kinds, including background checks, as well as to host GOP presidential hopefuls who agree with their stance.

That report, in the Tennessean, says this:

All guns on the convention floor will be nonoperational, with the firing pins removed, and any guns purchased during the NRA convention will have to be picked up at a Federal Firearms License dealer, near where the purchaser lives, and will require a legal identification.

From this nugget, the writer at the New York Daily News has erroneously concluded that the NRA is full of hypocrites, who are against gun rules everywhere except their own convention.

This, I’m afraid, is nonsense. For a start, there’s no “this year” about it. At the NRA Convention, the display guns are always nonoperational, and they are never, ever for sale. Why? Well, a) because it’s a trade show, not a bazaar; b) because the rules governing interstate purchases are extremely complicated; and c) because there is simply no way that there would be enough guns available to satisfy the demand. This isn’t an aberration, it’s standard operating procedure. The author might as well ask why you can’t buy cars at the New York International Auto Show.

Second, contrary to the Daily News’s implication, attendees are indeed permitted to carry their own loaded firearms upon their person, provided that they have permit that is valid in Tennessee and that they obey the rules of whichever private venues they enter.

Last year, in Indianapolis, many visitors did precisely this.

This is a non-story.

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