NRA board member Ted Nugent shared an image comparing AR-15 owners to Rosa Parks

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent shared a Facebook image that draws a parallel between AR-15 gun owners and civil rights icon Rosa Parks. 

In a July 20 Facebook post, Nugent shared an image with text equating people’s “need” to own an AR-15 with Rosa Parks’ “need” to sit in the front of the bus. The image text concluded that “in a free nation, there is no requirement to show ‘need’ to exercise a right.”

Nugent compares owning an AR-15 to Rosa Parks sitting at the front of the bus

The post comes amid weeks of nationwide protests following multiple instances of police violence against Black Americans.

Nugent has been making this specific comparison for years. In January 2013, Nugent gave an interview to the conspiracy theory website WorldNetDaily, in which he declared that gun owners would be the new Rosa Parks if President Barack Obama issued an executive order banning guns. In a 2013 column for WND, Nugent called Parks his “hero” and referred to himself as “Rosa Parks with a Gibson,” a reference to his skill as a guitar player. And in a March 2014 column for the same website, Nugent again called Parks his “hero” and wrote, “Gun owners must learn from Rosa Parks and definitely refuse to give up our guns.” Civil rights leaders slammed Nugent’s comments as “offensive,” a “very disingenuous comparison,” and a “far-fetched fantasy.”   

A longtime NRA board member, Nugent was reelected in 2019 to serve a three-year term, ending in 2022. He also has a well-documented history of racist statements and posts, including calling Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” repeatedly using the N-word and defending its usage, and calling Trayvon Martin a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe.”