Richard Feldman — Ricochet: Confessions of A Gun Lobbyist — Videos

Posted on April 16, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, government spending, history, Immigration, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |




Cuomo, Cars, and Culture: How Gun Violence is More Than Mental

Michael Shank discusses gun violence and gun legislation with Richard Feldman who is President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association and the author of the book “Ricochet, Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist.” Shank discusses how background checks and bans on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, online sales, and gun show loopholes won’t be sufficient to end gun violence. Shank identifies New York State’s leadership on gun violence prevention and draws an analogy to automobile safety training, licensing, permitting, registering and insuring. Shank finishes by identifying the multi-faceted nature of gun violence (poverty, inequality, lead), highlighting how mental illness is inappropriately scapegoated (given its marginal influence in total gun deaths), and assessing the limited scope of Congressional commitment to comprehensive legislation. Video courtesy of CCTV.

NRA Rep. Feldman to Piers Morgan: If we didn’t have Guns Who would you have turned to

Soledad O’Brien Takes On Gun Advocate Over Assault Weapons Ban

Richard Feldman on NRA and Gun Lobbying

Richard Feldman from “Gun Fight” – directed by Barbara Kopple

Richard Feldman was NRA’s regional political director in the Northeast. He’s currently featured in “Gun Fight” about how he broke ranks with the NRA and started his own gun owners organization. Barbara Kopple’s documentary will soon air on HBO. Feldman sits down with Joe Corey to talk about his involvement in the movie and indoor shrimp farming

Richard Feldman appearing on D.L. Hughley’s show

The Guns And Weed Lobbyist, Richard Feldman, Esq. – Anarchy Gumbo Podcast

Background Articles and Videos

Rand Paul Discusses Gun Control, Immigration Reform, and Boston Bombing – Glenn Beck 4/18/2013

Piers Morgan BULLIES Gun Right Advocate John Lott Live on TV: ‘I Suggest You Keep Quiet’

Politics of Gun Control, Part 1: NRA, Congress and America’s Social Capital

Politics of Gun Control, Part 2: NRA, Congress and America’s Social Capital

Second Amendment Activist Nikki Goeser and Author John Lott

 Feldman The Appeaser

I noticed Uncle linked to this piece in the Seattle PI.  It’s worthwhile to remind everyone exactly who Richard Feldman is.  As it mentions at the end of the article, Feldman “became too close to ‘the enemy’ and was sacked as a lobbyist.”  Feldman was canned because he was more interested in cutting deals with anti-gunners, and seeking out media attention than he was fighting for gun rights.

Now, before anyone goes “But Sebastian, you always say that sometimes you have to make a deal?”  That’s true, but there’s a difference between brokering a deal that makes something that would be really bad a bit less awful, which sometimes you have to do, and actively trying to make deals you don’t need to with the anti-gunners and hope they go away happy.   We all know that won’t work.   Feldman is the latter type.

It’s worthwhile to remember why he was forced to resign from his position at American Shooting Sport Council.   After a series of disastrous appeasements of the Clinton Administration, Feldman became an advocate for settling the lawsuits that were brought by various cities against the firearms industry instead of fighting them.  Feldman poorly understood when it was smart to cut a deal, and when you should fight.  NRA chose to fight, and the industry quickly got together on that and showed Feldman the door.

So it’s worthwhile to remember that Feldman has an axe to grind.

The NRA, he says, would love to see Hillary Clinton in the White House, because once again it would have an adversary in power. “In the endless struggle, it is always better to fight than to win,” he said last week. “For the NRA, losing is winning.”

And the NRA will spend large sums of money trying to defeat Hillary, just like they did Al Gore, even though Feldman also claims Al Gore would have been better for fund raising.  If they are in it merely for the money, it would seem that they don’t know what’s good for them.

The gun issue ain’t going away folks, and there will never be a time when we can stop fighting and NRA can go back to being a shooting sports organization.  I doubt highly that Chris Cox lies awake at night worrying he might be so successful that he’ll be out of a job.

Richard Feldman’s Middle Ground

There’s a few ways you can look at Richard Feldman’s middle ground. SayUncle thinks Richard Feldman needs to take a closer look at the media, and that’s certainly true, but I also think Feldman, perhaps as a public relations tactic, or perhaps out of a desire to appear reasonable, often makes the assertion that both sides are extreme, and can’t we all just come to a middle ground and this issue? I can understand the sentiment, and agree that Feldman’s position can be useful in persuading people who are perhaps a bit tired of the issue. But as Feldman, who has a background in lobbying ought to know, there’s nothing about the political process that involves people, in good faith and with honest, sincere intentions, coming together to fix a problem.

I’ve read Feldman’s book Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist, which I enjoyed, even though I have disagreements with him on a number of things. One of the areas I disagree with him, and that he hints at in his LA Times article, is that both sides in this issue want to keep things going for the sake of fundraising, and that is preventing us from bringing this issue to a reasonable conclusion. Both sides use some shameful methods of fundraising. I’ve criticized NRA for it in the past, and have done so privately with staff in Fairfax as well. But fundraising is a necessary and vital function of every interest group out there, and I wouldn’t say our issue is alone in that. We do it, the Bradys do it, ACU does it, ACLU does it, NRLF does it, NOW does it, and all of them, at one point or another, will use scare tactics to get you to open up your wallet, because scare tactics work. But as much as Feldman might want to believe that’s what’s keeping the issue from resolving, he’s kidding himself. Let’s take a look at his article:

The bottom line is this: We must stop debating the polemics of guns and instead show wisdom and maturity to begin to resolve the problems of the negligent misuse of guns. Though a cliche, the following is nevertheless true: Guns aren’t ever the problem; guns in the wrong hands are always the problem. How we address this problem will determine the future of gun safety in America.

The LA Times aside, I think that’s the direction the debate is actually moving in, largely because the Supreme Court has settled the debate over guns in our society by taking prohibition off the table. But is that going to resolve the issue? Are both sides going to suddenly come to an agreement and find Congress completely willing to broker the deal for us, no tricks or subterfuge? Hardly. I don’t think you’d find any fundamental disagreement between Richard Feldman, most of us, and many gun control groups, over the statement above. It’s the details where you’ll find the devil, not in the intransigence of either side. As much as I think Mr. Feldman will seem the reasonable one for looking for a middle ground, I think it cheapens the legitimate disagreements and concerns of both sides in the debate, which I will talk about in the next post.

National Rifle Association of America (NRA)

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is an American nonprofit organization[3] founded in 1871 that promotes firearm ownership, as well as police training, firearm safety, marksmanship, hunting and self-defense training in the United States. The NRA is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) and its lobbying branch is a 501(c)(4) organization.[4][5][6]

The NRA is the parent organization of affiliated groups such as the tax-deductible NRA Foundation and a lobbying group, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). The NRA is also one of the United States’ largest certifying bodies for firearm safety training and proficiency training courses for police departments, recreational hunting, and child firearm safety. The organization publishes several magazines and sponsors marksmanship events featuring shooting skill and sports.

The NRA’s political activity is based on the idea that firearm ownership is a civil right protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.[7] The group has a nearly century long record of influencing as well as lobbying for or against proposed firearm legislation on behalf of its members. Observers and lawmakers see the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington.[6][8] NRA membership reached 4.5 million in 2013.[9][10]



The National Rifle Association was first chartered in the state of New York on November 17, 1871[11] by Army and Navy Journal editor William Conant Church and General George Wood Wingate. Its first president was Civil War General Ambrose Burnside, who had worked as a Rhode Island gunsmith, and Wingate was the original secretary of the organization. Church succeeded Burnside as president in the following year.

Union Army records for the Civil War indicate that its troops fired about 1,000 rifle shots for each Confederate soldier hit, causing General Burnside to lament his recruits: “Out of ten soldiers who are perfect in drill and the manual of arms, only one knows the purpose of the sights on his gun or can hit the broad side of a barn.”[12] The generals attributed this to the use of volley tactics, devised for earlier, less accurate smoothbore muskets.[13][14]

Recognizing a need for better training, Wingate traveled to Europe and observed European armies’ marksmanship training programs. With plans provided by Wingate, the New York Legislature funded the construction of a modern range at Creedmore, Long Island, for long-range shooting competitions. Wingate then wrote a marksmanship manual.[12]

After winning the British Empire championship at Wimbledon, London, in 1874, the Irish Rifle Team issued a challenge through the New York Herald to riflemen of the United States to raise a team for a long-range match to determine an Anglo-American championship. The NRA organized a team through a subsidiary amateur rifle club. Remington Arms and Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company produced breech-loading weapons for the team. Although muzzle-loading rifles had long been considered more accurate, eight American riflemen won the match firing breech-loading rifles. Publicity of the event generated by the New York Herald helped to establish breech-loading firearms as suitable for military marksmanship training, and promoted the NRA to national prominence.[12]

Eight U.S. Presidents have been NRA members. They are Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.[15]

Rifle clubs

The NRA organized rifle clubs in other states, and many state National Guard organizations sought NRA advice to improve members’ marksmanship. Wingate’s markmanship manual evolved into the United States Army marksmanship instruction program.[12] Former President Ulysses S. Grant served as the NRA’s eighth President[16] and General Philip H. Sheridan as its ninth.[17] The U.S. Congress created the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice in 1901 to include representatives from the NRA, National Guard, and United States military services. A program of annual rifle and pistol competitions was authorized, and included a national match open to military and civilian shooters. NRA headquarters moved to Washington, D.C. to facilitate the organization’s advocacy efforts.[12] In 1903, Congress authorized the Civilian Marksmanship Program, which was designed to train civilians who might later be called to serve in the U.S. military.[18] Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal began the manufacture of M1903 Springfield rifles for civilian members of the NRA in 1910.[19]


Along with the president, executive vice president (CEO), and board of directors, the organization’s lobbying division, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), is considered a power center of the NRA.[citation needed]

The NRA formed a legislative affairs division in response to debate concerning passage of the 1934 National Firearms Act,[20] the first major gun control legislation in the United States. At the time, the NRA supported the act without studying its impact on the second amendment, and also supported the Gun Control Act of 1968. The two acts created a system to license gun dealers and imposed taxes on the private ownership of machine guns.[21]

In 1975, the NRA created the Institute for Legislative Action to lobby for Second Amendment rights as a complement its core mission of supporting hunting, conservation and marksmanship.

Until the middle 1970s, the NRA had mainly focused on sportsmen, hunters and target shooters, and had downplayed issues of gun control. The 1977 annual convention in Cincinnati would be a defining election for the organization and came to be known as “The Cincinnati Revolution.”[22] At the convention, the leadership had planned an elaborate new headquarters in Colorado, designed to promote sportsmanship and conservation. Within the organization, now existed a group of members whose central concern was Second Amendment rights. Those activists defeated the incumbents in 1977 and elected Harlon Carter as executive director and Neal Knox as head of the ILA.[23][24]

After 1977, the organization expanded its membership by focusing heavily on political issues and forming coalitions with conservative politicians, most of them Republicans.[25] With a goal to weaken the Gun Control Act of 1968, Knox’s NRA successfully lobbied Congress to pass the McClure-Volker firearms decontrol bill of 1986 and worked to reduce the powers of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 1982, Knox was ousted as director of the ILA but began mobilizing outside the NRA framework and continued to promote opposition to gun control laws.[26]

At the 1991 national convention, Knox’s supporters were elected to the board, and named staff lobbyist Wayne LaPierre as the executive vice president. The NRA focused its attention on the gun control policies of the Clinton Administration.[27] Knox again lost power in 1997, as he lost reelection to a coalition of moderate leaders who supported movie star Charlton Heston, despite Heston’s past support of gun control legislation.[28] In 1994, the NRA unsuccessfully opposed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, but successfully lobbied for the ban’s 2004 expiration.[29] Heston was elected president in 1998 and became a highly visible spokesman for the organization. In an effort to improve the NRA’s image, Heston presented himself as the voice of reason in contrast to Knox.[30]

Safety and sporting programs

NRA firearms safety programs

NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia

The NRA sponsors a range of programs designed to encourage the safe use of firearms. NRA hunting safety courses are offered in the United States for both children and adults. Classes focusing on firearm safety, particularly for women, have become popular. Intended for school-age children, the NRA’s “Eddie Eagle” program encourages the viewer to “Stop! Don’t touch! Leave the area! Tell an adult!” if the child ever sees a firearm lying around.[31] The NRA has also published an instructional guide, called The Basics of Personal Protection In The Home (published in 2000).[32]

Shooting sports

Prior to 1992, the NRA governed shooting sports in the United States.[citation needed] In 1992, USA Shooting replaced the NRA as the national governing body for Olympic shooting, and in 2000, the NRA chose not to be a member of the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council. Additionally, 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.

The NRA hosts the National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, events which are considered to be the “world series of competitive shooting.”[33] Commonly known as Bullseye or Conventional Pistol, shooters from the military as well as many top-ranked civilians gather annually in July and August for this competition. The NRA also sponsors its National Muzzle Loading Championship at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s Friendship, Indiana facility. Additionally, the Bianchi Cup, hosted by NRA, is considered among the most lucrative of all the shooting sports tournaments.[citation needed]

The NRA house magazine, American Rifleman, covers major shooting competitions and related topics, and the NRA offers a publication dedicated to competitive shooting, Shooting Sports USA. Most competitive shooters are NRA members.[citation needed] The current NRA competitions division publishes its own rulebooks, maintains a registry of marksmanship classifications, and sanctions matches. The NRA also represents the United States on the International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA),[citation needed] which administers the World Long-Range Rifle Team Championships, contested every four years for the PALMA trophy.


The National Rifle Association issues credentials and trains firearm instructors in a variety of disciplines. NRA-credentialed instructors teach marksmanship, maintenance, and legalities.[34] NRA Instructors are commonly found at privately owned firearms ranges, and are often employed by the Boy Scouts of America on their summer camps.[citation needed]

Relationship with other organizations

The National Rifle Association maintains ties with other organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and 4-H.[35] Involvement includes monetary donations, equipment to supply firearms ranges, and instructors to assist in their programs. Notably, the Boy Scouts of America has strict guidelines on who is allowed to operate their ranges, the recognized personnel groups including NRA Certified Instructors along with military and law enforcement.[36]

The NRA joined the American Civil Liberties Union and several other civil liberties organizations in joint letters to President Clinton on 10 January 1994 and to the House Committee on the Judiciary on 24 October 1995 calling for federal law enforcement reforms drawing on lessons from the Waco siege and Ruby Ridge.[37]

Fundraising and shooting support

Friends of NRA is a grassroots program that raises money for The NRA Foundation, the organization’s 501(c)(3).[38] As part of Friends of NRA activities, volunteers in the United States organize committees and plan events in their communities.

Established in 1990, The NRA Foundation raises tax-deductible contributions in support of a wide range of firearm related public interest activities. These activities are designed to promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological and artistic context. Funds granted by The NRA Foundation benefit a variety of constituencies throughout the United States including children, youth, women, individuals with disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement officers, hunters, and competitive shooters.[39]

Political advocacy

Because the NRA considers gun ownership to be a civil right, the organization calls itself the “largest and oldest civil rights organization in the United States.”[40][41][42][43]

The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying branch of the National Rifle Association of America.[44] Members of Congress have ranked the NRA as the most powerful lobbying organization in the country several years in a row.[6] Chris W. Cox is the NRA’s chief lobbyist and principal political strategist, a position he has held since 2002. Jim Baker is the head of the federal affairs division at the institute.[45]

In its lobbying for gun rights, the NRA asserts that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to bear arms. The NRA opposes measures which it believes conflict with the Second Amendment and the right to privacy as it relates to gun owners. Additionally, the organization has invoked the Tenth Amendment to defend gun rights.


The NRA currently opposes most new gun-control legislation, calling instead for stricter enforcement of existing laws such as prohibiting convicted felons and violent criminals from possessing firearms and increased sentencing for gun-related crimes. The NRA also advocates for concealed carry in the United States. It also takes positions on non-firearm hunting issues, such as supporting wildlife management programs that allow hunting and opposing restrictions on devices like crossbows and leg hold traps.[citation needed]

The NRA supported the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA), which regulated what were considered at the time “gangster weapons” such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and silencers.[46][47][48] However, the organization’s position on parts of the act has since changed.[49]

The 1937 Pittman–Robertson Act was passed which put an excise tax on the manufacture of firearms. The Act created an excise tax that provides funds to each state to manage such animals and their habitats.[50][51] Prior to the creation of the Pittman–Robertson Act many species of wildlife were driven to or near extinction by hunting pressure and/or habitat degradation from humans.[50]

The NRA supported the 1938 Federal Firearms Act (FFA) which established the Federal Firearms License (FFL) program. The FFA required all manufacturers and dealers of firearms who ship or receive firearms or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce to have a license, and forbade them from transferring any firearm or most ammunition to any person interstate unless certain conditions were met.[52] As a practical matter, this did not affect the interstate commerce in firearms or ammunition. It was with the adoption of the Gun Control Act in 1968, which repealed most of the FFA, that the lawful interstate trade of firearms was limited almost entirely to persons holding a federal firearms license.

The NRA supported and opposed parts of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which broadly regulated the firearms industry and firearms owners, primarily focusing on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers. The law was supported by America’s oldest manufacturers (Colt, S&W, etc.) in an effort to forestall even greater restrictions which were feared in response to recent domestic violence. The NRA supported elements of the law, such as those forbidding the sale of firearms to convicted criminals and the mentally ill.[53][54]

In 2000, when evidence surfaced that the Pittman-Robertson Act sportsman`s conservation trust funds were being mismanaged, NRA board member and sportsman, U.S. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act. The NRA backed bill passed the House 423-2 and became law on Nov. 1, 2000 and defines in what manner the monies can be spent.

In 2004, the NRA opposed renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. The ban expired at midnight on September 13, 2004.[55]

In 2005 President Bush signed into law the NRA backed Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which prevent firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable for negligence when crimes have been committed with their products.[56]

The NRA-backed Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006 prohibited the confiscation of legal firearms from citizens during states of emergency.[57]

In 2012, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the NRA called on the United States Congress to appropriate funds for a “National School Shield Program,” under which armed police officers would protect students in every U.S. school.[58][59] The NRA also announced the creation of a program that would advocate for best practices in the areas of security, building design, access control, information technology, and student and teacher training.[59][60][61][62]


In 2005, the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and others successfully sued New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and others to stop gun seizures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.[63][64][65][66][67][68] On October 4, 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act.

In November 2005, the NRA and other gun advocates filed a lawsuit challenging San Francisco Proposition H, which banned the ownership and sales of firearms. The NRA argued that the citizen-passed proposition overstepped local government authority and intruded into an area regulated by the state. The San Francisco County Superior Court agreed with the NRA position.[69] The city appealed the court’s ruling, but lost a 2008 appeal.[70] In October 2008, San Francisco was forced to pay a $380,000 settlement to the National Rifle Association and other plaintiffs to cover the costs of litigating Proposition H.[71]

After a 2008 ruling (District of Columbia v. Heller) by the U.S. Supreme Court that affirmed the individual right to own a handgun, the NRA has participated in lawsuits contesting such legislation.[72]

In 2009 the NRA filed suit again (Guy Montag Doe v. San Francisco Housing Authority) in the city of San Francisco challenging the city’s ban of guns in public housing. On January 14, 2009, the San Francisco Housing Authority reached a settlement with the NRA, which allows residents to possess legal firearms within a SFHA apartment building.[73]

In 2010, the NRA sued the city of Chicago, Illinois (McDonald v. Chicago) and the Supreme Court ruled that like other substantive rights, the right to bear arms is incorporated via the Fourteenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights, and therefore applies to the states.[74][75]

The NRA supported the case of Brian Aitken, a New Jersey resident sentenced to seven years in state prison for transporting guns without a carry permit.[76] The organization’s Civil Rights Defense Fund helped to pay Brian Aitken’s legal bills.[77] On December 20, 2010, Governor Chris Christie granted Aitken clemency and ordered Aitken’s immediate release from prison.[78]


The NRA’s policy is that it will endorse any incumbent politician who supports its positions, even if the challenger supports them as well. For example, in the 2006 Senate Elections the NRA endorsed Rick Santorum over Bob Casey, Jr. even though they both had an “A” rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund, because Santorum was the incumbent.[79]

The NRA endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in 1980 backing Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter.[80][81]

During the 2008 presidential campaign, the NRA spent $10 million in opposition of the election of then Senator Barack Obama.[82]


The NRA publishes a number of periodicals including [83] American Rifleman,[84] American Hunter, Shooting Illustrated, America’s 1st Freedom and Shooting Sports USA. They have also published a collection of firearms titles through its affiliate Palladium Press LLC.

Current leadership and policies

The National Rifle Association is governed by a seventy-six member[85] board of directors. There are seventy-five elected Directors that each serve a three year term. One director, the seventy-sixth, is elected to serve as a cross-over Director and “holds office from the adjournment of the Annual Meeting of Members at which [this person] was elected until the adjournment of the next Annual Meeting of Members, or until a successor is elected and qualified.”

The directors choose the President, one or more Vice Presidents, and the Executive Vice President (the leading spokesman for the organization), along with a Secretary, and Treasurer from among the elected Directors. Additionally two other officers are elected by the Board of Directors, the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association General Operations and the Executive Director of the National rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA).

Charlton Heston served famously as president from 1997 to 2003, and David Keene is the current president, replacing Ron Schmeits who served 2009–2011. John C. Sigler served 2007–2009. Sandra Froman served 2005–2007. Marion P. Hammer was the first female president, serving from 1995 to 1998.[86]

The organization’s executive vice president functions as chief executive officer. Wayne LaPierre has held this position since 1991. Chris W. Cox is the executive director of the NRA’s lobbying branch, the Institute for Legislative Action. Cox has been appointed by LaPierre every year since 2002. Kayne Robinson is executive director of general operations.[87]

Finances and organizational structure

The NRA is a 501(c)(4) membership association with four 501(c)(3) charitable subsidiaries and a Section 527 Political Action Committee separate segregated fund. The NRA’s four charities are NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, NRA Foundation Inc., NRA Special Contribution Fund (dba NRA Whittington Center), and NRA Freedom Action Foundation.[1]

According to published statements,[1] the NRA’s total income for 2011 was $218,983,530, with total expenditures of $231,071,589. In 2010, the organization reported an income of $227.8 million with roughly $115 million in revenue generated from fundraising, sales, advertising and royalties, with the remainder originating from membership dues.[88] Corporate sponsors include a variety of companies such as outdoors supply, sporting goods companies, and firearm manufacturers.[88][89]

Since 2005, the organization has received at least $14.8 million from more than 50 firearms-related firms[88] In 2008, Beretta exceeded $2 million in donations to the NRA, and in 2012, Smith & Wesson reached $1 million.[90] According to an April 2012 press release, Sturm, Ruger & Company raised $1.25 million through a program in which it donated $1 to the ILA for each gun it sold from May 2011 to May 2012.[90]

In 2010, one of the organization’s tax exempt 501(c)3 groups, the NRA Foundation, distributed $12.6 million to the NRA itself, and gave a further $5.5 million to local organizations such as 4-H and shooting clubs. The NRA Foundation has no staff and pays no salaries.[88][90]

The NRA also raises a portion of its revenues through “round-up” programs, in which gun buyers and participating stores are invited to “round up” the purchase price to the nearest dollar as a voluntary contribution. According to the NRA’s 2010 tax forms, the “round-up” funds have been allocated to both public interest programs and lobbying.[90]

Public opinion

In six out of seven surveys conducted by Gallup since 1993, the majority of Americans reported holding a favorable opinion of the National Rifle Association. A Gallup survey conducted in December 2012 found that 54% of Americans held a favorable opinion of the NRA, with Republicans responding significantly more positively about the organization than Democrats.[91] A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in April 2012 found that 82% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats see the NRA “in a positive light.”[5][92][93]


The NRA is criticized by groups advocating for gun control such as Americans for Gun Safety, Brady Campaign, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Million Mom March. Some newspaper editorial boards like the New York Times,[94] Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette[95] have also criticized the NRA’s positions.

Members of the U.S. Democratic Party and liberal commentators have frequently criticized the National Rifle Association’s policies. However, on occasion, politicians in the U.S. Republican Party and conservative commentators have also criticized the organization.[96][97][98] In 1969, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon resigned his “Honorary Life Membership” to the NRA. In 1995, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush also resigned his life membership to the organization after LaPierre sent him a letter that labeled agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), “jack-booted government thugs”. The NRA later apologized for the letter’s language.[99] After the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called an online video created by the NRA “reprehensible” and said that it “demeans” the organization.[100] Jim Baker, a senior lobbyist for the organization, later characterized the video as “not particularly helpful” and “ill-advised.”[101]

The NRA has been criticized by other gun rights groups for doing too little to get existing restrictions repealed. Organizations such as Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) have at times disagreed with NRA for what they perceive as its willingness to compromise on legislation that would restrict access to firearms.[102]

Notable members

In its history, the NRA has had numerous notable members and officers from a variety of professions. Among these people are eight Presidents of the United States, two Vice President of the United States, two Chief Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and several U.S. Congressmen, as well as legislators and officials of state governments.[103] Past presidents of the association include Ambrose Burnside, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, Charlton Heston, and General Philip H. Sheridan. Other notables include Olympian Karl Frederick, actress Whoopi Goldberg, civil rights activist Roy Innis, actor James Earl Jones, President John F. Kennedy, singer Miranda Lambert, NBA player Karl Malone, screen writer John Milius, President Richard Nixon, actor Chuck Norris, musician Ted Nugent, Governor Sarah Palin, President Ronald Reagan, President Theodore Roosevelt, and actor Tom Selleck.[104][105]

See also

  • Gun politics in the United States
    • Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
    • Concealed carry
  • Gun safety
  • Hunting
  • Viva Brazil Movement
  • Dominion of Canada Rifle Association
  • Canada Firearms Centre
  • Canadian gun registry
  • Gun politics in Canada
  • Possession and Acquisition Licence
  • National Arms Association of Spain (ANARMA)
  • ProTell


  1. ^ a b c “Non Profit Report for the National Rifle Association of America”. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  2. ^ “NRA Raises $200 Million as Gun Lobby Toasters Burn Logo on Bread”. Businessweek. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  3. ^ “National Rifle Association”. NRA. December 21, 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  4. ^ “Universal Coin & Bullion Offers Matching Gift to Benefit NRA’s Voice of Freedom Programs”. NRA.
  5. ^ a b “Poll: Most Americans support NRA, right to protect self, but also a few gun limits”. Reuters. April 13, 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c “FORTUNE Releases Annual Survey of Most Powerful Lobbying Organizations”. 1999-11-15. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  7. ^ See NRA, “Statement From the National Rifle Association” (April 16, 2007)
  8. ^ James Q. Wilson et al. (2011). American Government: Institutions & Policies. Cengage Learning. p. 264.
  9. ^ LaPierre, Wayne. “Wayne LaPierre Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee, 01/31/2013”. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c d e Craige, John Houston The Practical Book of American Guns (1950) Bramhall House pp.84–93
  13. ^ Timeline of the NRA, The Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2013.
  14. ^ “WALL OF FIRE – THE RIFLE AND CIVIL WAR INFANTRY TACTICS”. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
  15. ^ “Did You Know?”. National Rifle Association. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  16. ^ “NRA Institute for Legislative Action News Release”. 2003-03-27. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  17. ^ “The “Academy” Must Now Share Michael Moore`s Cinematic Shame”. Nra-Ila. 2003-03-27. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  18. ^ “Civilian Marksmanship Sales”. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
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Further reading

  • Anderson, Jack. Inside the NRA: Armed and Dangerous. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Dove, 1996. ISBN 0-7871-0677-1.
  • Brennan, Pauline Gasdow, Alan J. Lizotte, and David McDowall. “Guns, Southernness, and Gun Control”. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 9, no. 3 (1993): 289–307.
  • Bruce, John M., and Clyde Wilcox, eds. The Changing Politics of Gun Control. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998. ISBN 0-8476-8614-0, ISBN 0-8476-8615-9.
  • Carter, Gregg Lee, ed. Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law (3rd ed. 2012) excepr and text search
  • Carter, Gregg Lee. Gun Control in the United States: A Reference Handbook (2006) 408pp
  • Davidson, Osha Gray. Under Fire: The NRA and the Battle for Gun Control, 2nd ed. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1998. ISBN 0-87745-646-1.
  • Edel, Wilbur. Gun Control: Threat to Liberty or Defense against Anarchy? Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-275-95145-6.
  • Feldman, Richard. Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist (John Wiley, 2011) excerpt and text search
  • Goss, Kristin A. Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Priceton Studies in American Politics) (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Langbein, Laura I., and Mark A. Lotwis, “Political Efficacy of Lobbying and Money: Gun Control in the U.S. House, 1986”. Legislative Studies Quarterly 15 (August 1990): 413–40.
  • LaPierre, Wayne R. Guns, Crime, and Freedom. Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1994. ISBN 0-89526-477-3.
  • McGarrity, Joseph P., and Daniel Sutter. “A Test of the Structure of PAC Contracts: An Analysis of House Gun Control Votes in the 1980s”. Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 67 (2000).
  • Melzer, Scott. Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War (New York University Press, 2009) 336 pp. online
  • Raymond, Emilie. From My Cold, Dead Hands: Charlton Heston and American Politics (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Spitzer, Robert J. The Politics of Gun Control, 2nd ed. New York: Chatham House Publishers, 1998. ISBN 1-56643-072-0.
  • Sugarmann, Josh. National Rifle Association: Money, Firepower, and Fear. Washington, D.C.: National Press Books, 1992. ISBN 0-915765-88-8.
  • Trefethen, James B., and James E. Serven. Americans and Their Guns: The National Rifle Association Story Through Nearly a Century of Service to the Nation. Harrisburg, Penn.: Stackpole Books, 1967.
  • Utter, Glenn H., ed. Encyclopedia of Gun Control and Gun Rights. Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press, 2000. ISBN 1-57356-172-X. online, 378pp
  • Winkler, Adam. Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America (2011) excerpt and text search

Gunshow Loophole MYTH and Other Piers Morgan LIES

Obama calls Senate gun vote “shameful”

Obama: Gun lobby ‘willfully lied’

Barack Obama Speaks After Gun Control Fails in the Senate 

GOP Sen. Toomey- Background Checks Are Not ‘Gun Control,’ They’re ‘Common Sense’

Senators propose US gun control compromise

Wayne LaPierre On Whether NRA Supports Universal Background Checks At Gun Shows: ‘We Do Not’

Uncle Ted Cruz: ‘The Gun Show Loophole(Background Check) Doesn’t Exist’


What Gun Show Loophole?

The so called “gun show loophole” does not exist (I set the record straight)

Sore Loser – Sen. Feinstein After Losing Gun legislation states there will be no background checks

Dianne Feinstein’s amendment to reinstate assault weapons ban fails

Just after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure Wednesday afternoon to expand background checks for gun buyers, it also voted against California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s amendment to reinstate an assault weapons ban.

Feinstein’s amendment had not been expected to pass. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) knew weeks ago there weren’t enough votes for the assault weapons ban, so he removed it from the main gun control bill.

The final vote on Feinstein’s amendment was 60-40 against passage.

Feinstein issued this statement after Tuesday’s vote:

            “I’m disappointed by today’s vote, but I always knew this was an uphill battle. I believe the American people are far ahead of their elected officials on this issue, and I will continue to fight for a renewed ban on assault weapons.

“The very fact that we’re debating gun violence on the Senate floor is a step in the right direction, and I hope my colleagues vote their conscience and approve the underlying bill. But I’m certain that in the coming months and years, we will be forced to confront by other incidents like Newtown, where innocents are murdered with one of these weapons of war.

“I will carry on this fight against military-style assault weapons, and I ask of the American people that they continue to pressure their elected officials to take action. It’s long overdue that we take serious steps to remove these dangerous firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines from society.”

Feinstein’s original assault weapons ban was in place from 1994-2004. An attempt to extend it in 2004 failed. Feinstein vowed to resume her fight after mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.

In a recent speech to San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, Feinstein said: “This is a lifetime pursuit for me. If I can’t get it done this time, there will be another time.”

Just after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure Wednesday afternoon to expand background checks for gun buyers, it also voted against California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s amendment to reinstate an assault weapons ban.

Feinstein’s amendment had not been expected to pass. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) knew weeks ago there weren’t enough votes for the assault weapons ban, so he removed it from the main gun control bill.

The final vote on Feinstein’s amendment was 60-40 against passage.

Feinstein issued this statement after Tuesday’s vote:

            “I’m disappointed by today’s vote, but I always knew this was an uphill battle. I believe the American people are far ahead of their elected officials on this issue, and I will continue to fight for a renewed ban on assault weapons.

“The very fact that we’re debating gun violence on the Senate floor is a step in the right direction, and I hope my colleagues vote their conscience and approve the underlying bill. But I’m certain that in the coming months and years, we will be forced to confront by other incidents like Newtown, where innocents are murdered with one of these weapons of war.

“I will carry on this fight against military-style assault weapons, and I ask of the American people that they continue to pressure their elected officials to take action. It’s long overdue that we take serious steps to remove these dangerous firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines from society.”

Feinstein’s original assault weapons ban was in place from 1994-2004. An attempt to extend it in 2004 failed. Feinstein vowed to resume her fight after mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.

In a recent speech to San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, Feinstein said: “This is a lifetime pursuit for me. If I can’t get it done this time, there will be another time.”

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