Up Front: GUN LOBBY
LONE STAR HUNTERS TELL THE NRA TO GIT
THE NRA IS PERSONA NON grata at, of all places, hunters' conventions in Texas. Organizers of the three Texas-Mexico Hunting & Fishing Expos, to be held in the Lone Star State later this summer, have barred the gun lobby from setting up booths at their events. George Bush is another Texan who also spurned the National Rifle Assn. recently, resigning his membership.
Reason: distaste over the NRA's superheated pro-gun talk. The hunters were riled by an NRA fund-raising letter referring to government agents as "jack-booted thugs." Says expo director Jerry Curl: "The sportsmen and women who attend our shows don't appreciate the radical rhetoric." He says he based his decision on a poll he did of his major exhibitors.
For the past three years, the NRA has been a fixture at the Texas expos, where hunters browse among rifles, deer blinds, and duck calls. The NRA wouldn't comment, but a spokesman says it is looking forward to conclaves elsewhere.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Kate Murphy