For the last three NRA Annual Meetings, open and concealed carry have been legal and practiced on the premises. In 2015 it was at Nashville in Tennessee. In 2016, it was at Louisville in Kentucky. In 2017, it is in Atlanta, Georgia. Today in the press room, there were a few open carriers. From the printing that I noticed here and there, there were a significantly greater number of concealed carriers.
I was one of those. The Press room was rather chilly for a Yuma, Arizona resident. I kept my jacket on. Out on the floor, there were few open carriers. Then it hit me. President Trump was scheduled to speak. The Secret Service does not allow anything that they consider a weapon in the room with the President for the speech. I noticed one gentleman with an empty holster, heading toward the venue for the President's speech.
I asked him if the empty holster was because he was going to hear President Trump.
Yes, he said. That was exactly the reason.
When I talked to people who had attempted to enter the forum for the speech, it is questionable if even the empty holster was allowed. One man was had to go to Knife Rights knife check facility and check a penlight flashlight! The explanation for the small numbers of open carry on the first day was obvious. I expect the numbers to increase over the next few days.
Open and concealed carry at NRA Meetings is here to stay. I doubt the NRA will schedule a meeting in a state that does not respect the Second Amendment enough to have a shall issue concealed carry law, and reasonable reciprocity.
A national reciprocity law could change that, opening up the 10-13 states that severely infringe on Second Amendment rights.
People who live on the borders of Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, Connecticut, and Delaware would appreciate the change. Even Illinois, Oregon, and Washington state would become much friendlier to visitors.
I expect more open carry in the next few days.