In brief: NRA backs off criticism of open carry gun group
Houston – The National Rifle Association is rolling back an earlier statement in which the group criticized “open carry” rallies in Texas.
Gun rights advocates have brought military-style assault rifles into businesses as part of a push for less restrictive gun laws.
The NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, said last week in a statement on its website that the demonstrations were counterproductive, scary and “downright weird.”
But ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said Tuesday in an interview on an NRA-hosted radio show that the statement was a “mistake.”
Cox said the staffer who wrote the piece was expressing his personal opinion.
Open Carry Texas, a group behind the recent demonstrations, had said if the NRA didn’t retract the statement, Open Carry would withdraw its full support for the NRA.
Hail, thunderstorms pound Midwest states
Des Moines, Iowa – Baseball-size hail pummeled homes and cars in Nebraska and Iowa on Tuesday as powerful thunderstorms moved through a swath of Midwest states, also causing severe flooding and prompting reports of tornadoes.
The National Weather Service said reports of extensive hail damage and flooding trickled in as storms pushed into Nebraska and moved into neighboring Iowa, where winds of up to 85 mph were recorded. Up to 4 inches of rain was expected in parts of those states, which were the hardest hit. The storm also tracked across parts of Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota and Illinois.
“This is one of these days we can’t let our guard down,” said Bill Bunting, forecast operations chief at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
Bunting said several trained spotters reported tornadoes in central and southwest Iowa, and at least one report came in from southwest Kansas. Reports will not be confirmed until damage can be assessed this morning.