NRA Annual Meeting Headlining Obama Supporter Toby Keith

By David Codrea

ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 14 15.21
Keith praised Barack Obama, calling him “the best Democratic candidate we’ve had since Bill Clinton.”

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Saturday Night Celebration Tickets are now on sale!” the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits Facebook page announced Thursday. “The National Rifle Association presents Toby Keith with special guest Chris Janson Saturday May 21 at the KFC Yum! Center!”

Keith last headlined the Association’s entertainment program in Orlando in 2003. Understandably, especially with the recent manufactured furor over the upcoming “gun free” RNC Convention, initial comments are asking if the NRA concert will be in a “gun free” venue. Online resources leave room for uncertainty.

WideOpenSpaces reports “NRA will allow concealed guns at annual meetings in Kentucky,” but appears to walk that back a bit when referencing the concert by citing “official policy” and providing a general link to the Annual Meeting website.

Likewise, the KFC Yum! Center’s Guest Services page is not definitive:

Firearms: During University of Louisville events, no firearms are permitted inside the venue. During all other events, firearms may be restricted at the discretion of the individual promoter. To find out the firearms policy for a specific show, please call the KFC Yum! Center at 502-690-9000 on the day of the show.

Hopefully, definitive rules will be forthcoming and we won’t need to wait until the day of the show. NRA responded to my specific request (“Will concealed firearms be permitted in the Yum facility for the NRA’s Toby Keith concert?”) by repeating the policy cited above:

Hi David, During the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), in accordance with Kentucky law. Firearms and knives will be prohibited in any areas temporarily under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws. Please note that under Kentucky law, concealed firearms are prohibited in areas primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, and loaded firearms are prohibited in any room where alcoholic beverages are being sold by the drink. Alcoholic beverages will be served at some events at the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC), in certain areas of the KFC Yum! Center, and in some smaller venues.

That doesn’t quite get us there as definitively as “Yes” or “No.” I replied by simply asking (again) “Will they be permitted at the Keith concert?” (No answer has been received at this writing – this post will be updated if I get one.)

KFC Yum! Center’s response also only adds to the confusion:

Hi David, thanks for reaching out. In reply to your question, the NRA has directed us to say the following. This is the only information we are able to provide: For information regarding firearms carry policy for this event, click here: https://www.nraam.org/

Good luck navigating through that for anything definitive beyond the inconclusive policy statement. That makes it fair to ask why NRA is apparently being so coy that they’re controlling what the arena’s public relations people can say.

Best guess: People will be able to get beer and other refreshments at the concert, meaning “No.” If that’s it, NRA could just say so.

Curiously, carrying firearms had also been reported prohibited at Toby Keith’s namesake restaurants. A few years back, Fox 5 reported an outlet in Virginia with a prominent “No Guns” sign. And the “I Love This Bar and Grill” brand notwithstanding, perhaps that contributed to why so many locations have been abruptly closed (in addition to widespread questionable business practices).

Even more curiously, Keith has admitted voting for Bill Clinton twice, meaning he voted for him after the 1994 “assault weapon” ban. And while some may say his subsequent votes for George Bush indicated a change of heart, it hardly explains his political actions after that. Because five years after Keith wowed NRA members in Orlando, he declared himself a supporter of the man NRA’s Wayne LaPierre called “the most anti-gun president ever to occupy the Oval Office.” Keith praised Barack Obama, calling him “the best Democratic candidate we’ve had since Bill Clinton. And that’s coming from a Democrat.” And Keith went on to honor Obama by performing at his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.

It’s not unreasonable to ask – with all the entertainers out there – why Toby Keith? Why is it in the interests of NRA members to pay top dollar to see that guy and to cheer him on?

And it’s certainly not unreasonable to just expect and get an unequivocal answer on the gun question.

David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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littlemike
littlemike
5 years ago

Very simple, the NRAAM was not a GFZ! The entire exhibit hall, auditorium, all the breakout rooms, the common spaces, food concessions, everything was carry-friendly…BUT! When Trump came to speak at the Leadership Forum, the Secret Service took over the auditorium (ironically named “Freedom Hall”), and y’all know what that means. Extremely strict security, and not only guns were prohibited but knives, umbrellas, pointy things. sippy cups, all food items, you name it, even empty holsters, and they were scrutinizing everybody and all their bags, and you can imagine the logjam that caused. Meanwhile, outside of that hall, the show… Read more »

Bondmen
Bondmen
5 years ago

Only an NRA member because my shooting range requires it. GOA all the way otherwise. And glad I’ll miss the Toby K concert, will take the family out to dinner with that money. When will they ever get their act together at 11250 Waples Mill Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030?

willford
willford
5 years ago

Like other here the only reason Im still in the NRA is because I am a life member also. GOA is a hell of a lot better.

5WarVeteran
5WarVeteran
5 years ago

Why I don’t like the NRA. They use and rely on anal Celebrities to sell magazines and all the crap within them, Like Zoyzia grass plugs and Philadelphia Mint “collectors coins.” They prey on the gullible while advertising some of the lowest quality weapons made. When you join you can get a NRA hat made in China. Their magazines are low grade and have the exact same advertising as the VFW rag and the AARP rag and rarely ever do they run quality stories that truly assist their readers. Meanwhile they have members on their board of directors who are… Read more »

trumped
trumped
5 years ago

For those who want to support a true pro gun group, join the GOA.

Richard Consolazio
Richard Consolazio
5 years ago

Shame on you NRA ! Can’t find a high-profile big draw country singer, who is pro NRA , and second amendment? How about checking American Riflleman magazine, NRA Country 2016 issues: January, page 43, interview wuth Hank Williams jr., February, Justin Moore, page 80, ect. Also, on the subject of guns in venues, how about a few signs stating local laws? Example, “if you are armed you may not proceed beyond this point, alcoholic beverage area” I’m an NRA firearms instructor, chief range safety officer and Life member (on the payment plan) and teach CCW classes. Neither me nor my… Read more »

littlemike
littlemike
5 years ago

Richard, those signs you stated were on display at the Yum! Center at the entrance to each bar. It’s Kentucky state law.

trumped
trumped
5 years ago

Question: Is the NRA really that incompetent or just corrupt?

Yes.

Confused Member
Confused Member
5 years ago

Why not invite the Dixie Chicks as the opening act, and Raoul Castro for backup.

Oblamo binLyen
Oblamo binLyen
5 years ago

They were already booked up.

NutherChans
NutherChans
5 years ago

Good thing I haven’t joined the NRA. I’ve been participating in their Round-Up program because I thought NRA was interested in protecting the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. With nonsense like this going on, I’ll be damned if they get another penny from me.

Mike Murray
Mike Murray
5 years ago

The NRA is populated by weasels at the upper echelons. They talk big when asking for our money, then do as they please.
Sounds just like the politicians, huh?

Janek
Janek
5 years ago

If an event is ‘gun free’ it ain’t for me! Why alert anarchists to soft targets?

littlemike
littlemike
5 years ago
Reply to  Janek

HELL NO! That was the limp-wristed liberal Tim McGraw!

5WarVeteran
5WarVeteran
5 years ago

Sleeping with the Enemy? Or is this supposed to be a ROAST??

peewee henson
peewee henson
5 years ago

YOU WOULD THINK THAT COUNTRY MUSIC CELEBRITIES WOULD HAVE A GREATER APPRECIATION OF ALL THINGS COUNTRY. NRA SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO BETTER THAN THIS CLOWN

Raconteur
Raconteur
5 years ago

Keith praised Barack Obama, calling him “the best Democratic candidate we’ve had since Bill Clinton.”

That sounds like it could be a pretty low blow. If BO is the best since Clinton, then the Democrats need to look =under= the manure pile for a better one.

TEX
TEX
5 years ago

Keith is a real embarrassment to many people in Oklahoma. Keith has a restaurant/bar in Tulsa I think,maybe OC,that banned firearms and that really pissed off a lot of people. The man is an idiot and a fool and he ain’t a friend of the 2A ! It’s all an illusion.

Dean Deardurff
Dean Deardurff
5 years ago

boycott the event. is he the one that held an event for the sandy hook victims and supported
the sponcer that was ma

carlosperdue
carlosperdue
5 years ago

Only reason I’m still a member is I’m already a life member. No NRA affiliate will ever get another nickel from me.

Hoss Green
Hoss Green
5 years ago

Another bleeding heart liberal like Garth Brooks.
While everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, I am entitled to buy, or not to buy his/her music.
In my opinion I have a hard time understanding how someone that is supposed to be country could,or would support progressives, but then again like you have stated on more than one occasion; progressives are opposite.