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Gun Control. What the NRA don't want you to know.

Updated on April 3, 2014

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a body that supports and promotes the notion that ordinary Americans be allowed to own, possess, and use firearms.

The NRA is said to be the single most powerful non-profit organization in the United States.

The NRA "bases its political activity on the principle that gun ownership is a civil liberty protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and claims to be the oldest continuously operating civil liberties organization in the United States. According to its website, the NRA has "more than four million members."

Historically, the NRA has governed and advanced the shooting sports in the United States. In recent years, however, its role in the shooting sports has become somewhat less direct. In 1992 the NRA ceased to be the National Governing Body for Olympic shooting (USA Shooting is now the NGB), and in 2000 the NRA chose not to be a member of the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council. The NRA is not directly involved in the practical pistol competitions conducted by the International Practical Shooting Confederation and International Defensive Pistol Association, or in cowboy action shooting; both of these types of events have grown dramatically in recent years.

Many consider the NRA to be one of the most influential political lobby groups in the U.S. because of its ability to consistently deliver large numbers of votes in elections. As well as its record of campaign contributions and activities in lobbying for gun and hunting rights. Members of Congress have ranked the NRA as the most powerful lobbying organization in the country several years in a row.

However, political lobbying is an activity permitted under its 501(c)(4) tax status. Chris W. Cox has been the NRA's chief lobbyist and principal political strategist since 2002.[4.]

The NRA typically opposes measures which it asserts would conflict with the Second Amendment and/or the right to privacy enjoyed by law-abiding gun owners. It asserts that any attempt to regulate arms conflicts with the second clause of the amendment; the "right to keep and bear arms." The NRA has supported gun rights on other grounds as well-they opposed the Brady Bill in the courts on Tenth Amendment grounds, not Second Amendment.

Assault weapon ban of 1994

In 2004 the NRA successfully opposed renewal of the Federal Assault weapons ban of 1994.

As of September 2003, the NRA's focus at the federal level is on a bill to protect manufacturers from certain types of lawsuits. The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" (S.659/S.1806

On September 12, 2005 National Rifle Association executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre spoke out against these confiscations. "What we've seen in Louisiana - the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster - is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves," LaPierre said. The NRA filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District in Louisiana.

On September 23, two weeks after seizures began, NRA and Second Amendment Foundation filed for a temporary restraining order. On September 24, 2005 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued a temporary restraining order barring any further gun confiscations and ordering the return of lawfully owned firearms to their owners. On March 1, 2006, the NRA filed a motion for contempt against the city of New Orleans, its mayor, and the chief of police for failure to comply with the restraining order. On March 15, 2006, lawyers from both sides reached an agreement in the case of NRA v. Mayor Ray Nagin, which is pending before a federal court

In June 2006 Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco signed the NRA-backed Act 275, forbidding the confiscation of firearms from lawful citizens during declared emergencies. Similar legislation had already been adopted in nine other states..)

San Francisco's Proposition H

In November 2005, 58% of voters in San Francisco, California, approved "Proposition H", which would ban the sale, manufacture and distribution of firearms and ammunition (as well as the possession of handguns) within city limits, effective January 1, 2006 (The last gun dealer in the city had closed several years earlier because of a special tax.) San Francisco thereby became the third major city in the United States with a handgun ban, after Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The day after the election, the National Rifle Association and other gun advocates filed a lawsuit challenging the ban, saying it oversteps local government authority and intrudes into an area regulated by the state. A previous handgun ban, adopted in 1984, was successfully challenged on similar grounds.) On June 12, 2006 Superior Court Judge agreed with the NRA position, saying that California law "implicitly prohibits a city or county from banning gun possession by law-abiding adults".

The City appealed Judge Warren's ruling, but lost in a unanimous opinion from the three judge panel in the Court of Appeal issued on January 9, 2008. In November 2005, 58% of voters in San Francisco, California, approved "Proposition H", which would ban the sale, manufacture and distribution of firearms and ammunition (as well as the possession of handguns) within city limits, effective January 1, 2006. (The last gun dealer in the city had closed several years earlier because of a special tax.) San Francisco thereby became the third major city in the United States with a handgun ban, after Chicago and Washington, D.C.

(It's similar to the conspiracy theory that holds Republicans never really want Roe v. Wadeoverturned, because of the money and political support that would rush to pro-choice groups.)

And in fact, it wasn't the NRA that filed the lawsuit that brought Washington, D.C.'s gun ban down. it was a group of libertarians, acting on their own with help from the CATO Institute.

After the Hellerdecision, in which the court found, for the first time, a constitutional right to gun ownership for self-defense, can the NRA still suggest to the public at large that the government is able to pull firearms from households? The court's ruling suggests that no regulation can deny a resident the right to keep a functional handgun at the ready.

It's interesting that the legislative arm of the NRA, which conducts its public message-making, has already adopted an approach in reaction to the ruling: eternal vigilance.

James Olipant of the 'Swamp' argues that the recent Supreme Court ruling could be problematic for the NRA. Oliphant stated that quickly the NRA went into a kind of protective public relations approach following the decision A right gained, the NRA says, can easily become a right lost.

In an email the association sent out Thursday, it warned about about the decision inflaming the media's "anti-gun hysteria."

The email invoked many of the conservative bogeyman in one ready-to-go package: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Adrian Fenty, the mayor of D.C,. Chicago mayor Richard Daley, the New York Times and, yes, the Chicago Tribune's editorial page, which, after the decision, (with some collective tongue in collective cheek) suggested the Second Amendment should be repealed.

Here is an excerpt from the NRA missive:

The sad truth is that [the Heller decision] will motivate the Second Amendment's enemies to redouble their efforts to destroy the right to arms.Given the timing--just over four months before the November elections--we all have more than ample reason to redouble our efforts to ensure that November's winners will be the kinds of elected officials who will help us build upon the victory achieved in the Supreme Court.

Of course, the landscape after Heller is not a defined one. More questions remain than answers, the primary one being whether the decision applies to gun bans in localities such as Chicago and San Francisco. Also, whether the government can ban short-barreled shotguns, automatic weapons, concealed weapons or guns outside the home. Some analysts (including pro-gun ones) believe the Heller decision may have damaged the gun-rights movement by suggesting that there is a great amount of room for the government to regulate guns, more than many Second Amendment absolutists would like.

The debate has shifted, and an avalanche of litigation lies ahead, which should keep the money flowing to the NRA and its opposition, at least in the short-term. The game has changed, but it hasn't gone away. Not by a long shot.

Whilst Americans continue to die or be seriously injured and maimed as a result of gun fire the debate will continue to rage as to who should pick up the tab both financially and socially.

The thirty thousand Americans who die each year deserve a voice too. Something the NRA proponents conveniently turn a deaf ear to.


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    • Inventurist profile image


      5 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Enforcement of the laws may actually help. Just passing new laws on those of us that are law abiding only affect those of us that are law abiding citizens. You make my point exactly. The idea of more laws is ludicrous. Oh, as for you mates down under? I guess giving up your liberty isn't that big a deal. We here in the states aren't subjects - and our forefathers fought so we would never be - of a king. Obama thinks himself a king, but that is why FREE people can remain armed.

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia


      Washington and Chicago gun control laws are not properly enforced and guns simply come across the Border. Simple fact is Americas gun deaths are six times those of any other nation per capita. Year in year out. this will continue to be the case whilst the prevalence of guns remains.

    • Inventurist profile image


      5 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Well I read it. Not sure what the NRA doesn't want me to know. I believe the mainstream media doesn't want you to know that Chicago and Wasinghton, DC - having the most stringent gun laws on the books STILL HAVE THE HIGHEST GUN CRIMES. Seems hard to figure, I'd think those bad actors would read the laws and see they shouldn't have guns. I guess THAT DOESN'T WORK. As for the misrepresented number of 30,000 people per year - even if that were close to correct, the 2,000,000 times per year a firearm is used only for defense and may not even be fired, just shown warding off an attacker - that is a far better position.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Anti-firearm perspectives are infantile, immature, and naive. Furthermore, merely knowing someone is anti-firearm implies that that person is also largely ignorant. Anyone with a degree of breadth to their knowledge quickly realizes anti-gun arguments are vacuous nonsense. They don't even deserve thoughtful rebuttals. Rather it is like when I child is misunderstanding an elementary topic. You are better off simply informing them that they still do not understand and need to return to their studies before risking making fools of themselves. It doesn't take that much effort. You don't even have to be that smart. You just have to NOT be willfully ignorant and blind. Apparently that is harder than I'd think for a lot of you. But type/talk less and read/listen more. Maybe you'll catch up eventually.

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      OpinionDuck i have heard this trotted out before so who do you decide who are the good and bad guys when family members shoot each other

    • OpinionDuck profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't see a problem, the bad guys will have guns, just like people had alcohol in the Prohibition.

    • Ivan the Terrible profile image

      Ivan the Terrible 

      9 years ago from Madrid

      People here in Spain are allowed to own weapons, mostly for hunting purposes and for sport shooting. Here is a synopsis of our laws:


      Gun owners must be licensed and undergo strict medical and psychological tests. No one is permitted to own more than six hunting rifles and one handgun.

      Firearms must be registered and inspected annually.

      Machine guns and submachine guns are banned, as are imitation pistols.

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      10 years ago from Queensland Australia

      These that value human life over the right own and use a gun...

    • Health Conscious profile image

      Health Conscious 

      10 years ago from South Florida - USA

      Preferred by??

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      10 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Ok a hub coming up will argue why Australia Gun laws are the preferred option

    • Health Conscious profile image

      Health Conscious 

      10 years ago from South Florida - USA

      I do not get it. What is it that the NRA doesn't want you to know? All I saw in your post is pretty much easily available for everyone here in the US.

      As far as people being shot - the figures are actually down in the US. And as a further discussion, Britain which has gun control is in a current knife attack rampage. Violent crimes have nothing to do with the weapon used and will continue regardless of the weapons available.

      I am not a member of NRA but I do support the Second Amendment. This particular decision you referenced, is one of many that have been made. None of the previous ones stopped the drive by some to change the rights of others, why would anyone believe this one is special.

      And finally, just so you will be more knowledgeable of America, the NRA is the strongest political action group because individual Americans make it that way. Membership is completely voluntary.

      Why don't you tell us about Australian gun control and crime statistics, have ya'll perfected society.

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      10 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Over to you hubbers for your comments!


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