The Daily Caller has again strayed into ethically murky waters concerning its relationship with the National Rifle Association. A September 5 post in the online publication's "Guns and Gears" section urges its readers to help the NRA identify businesses that may be violating a Texas law forcing most private employers to allow guns on company property.
In fact the post, titled "Texas: Please Help The NRA-ILA Identify Non-Compliance Among Employers on One-Year Anniversary of Texas Parking Lot/Employee Protection Law," is copied verbatim from a NRA Institute for Legislative Action press release.
The Caller is asking its readers to submit evidence of noncompliance, including copies of employee handbooks, directly to the NRA:
In order to comply with this law's provisions, most employers in the state have amended their policies to allow the transportation and storage of firearms in locked, employee-owned motor vehicles parked on company-controlled parking lots. However, the NRA needs your help to ensure that no hard-working, law-abiding Texans remain disenfranchised by employers who refuse to abide by this law. Please notify the NRA-ILA by email of any examples of company policies that continue to violate the spirit and intent of the statute (if possible, please provide a scanned copy of the actual policy from your employee handbook) and any instances of employees being disciplined or terminated under such policies.
Please contact NRA-ILA at SLocal@nrahq.org about alleged violations of this law. We have already received information about companies that are misinterpreting the law or ignoring it altogether. The NRA-ILA will monitor and investigate those situations to ensure that your rights under the Parking Lot/ Employee Protection law are protected. [emphasis in original]
What the NRA plans to do with information about Texas employers is unclear. But it is certain that The Daily Caller, a self-described news outlet, should be reporting the news rather than supporting a special interest group's legislative agenda.
The NRA and Daily Caller have worked in tandem since the launch of the "Guns and Gear" section -- featuring NRA press releases, opinion pieces and advertisements -- in December 2011. In May, "Guns and Gear" editor Mike Piccione appeared on NRA News and promised to give a free gun to a Caller subscriber who joined the NRA. Last month, the Caller offered its readers discounted NRA memberships. The NRA has also used the "Guns and Gear" section to promote conspiracy theories related to the Obama administration.