There is no doubt the NRA is the most influential, powerful gun lobby in the nation…right now. But since April, the shit has hit the fan and every gun owner should be questioning what has been really going on behind closed doors.
After only one year as president of the NRA, retired U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North resigned and quickly after, so did (suspended at the time) Chris Cox who had been the NRA’s Chief Lobbyist and Principal Political Strategist since 2002.
Many members of the NRA and non-members of the firearms community have asked for NRA Chief Executive and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to step down, as well as request a full-blown investigation. And rightfully so, since Wayne makes $1 million a year salary.
Long-time NRA advocates and firearm industry influencers have begun publicly renouncing the NRA and pulling their support.
Besides its current controversy, gun owners need to be reminded that the NRA initially supported the ban on bump stocks and supported red flag laws as well as the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) which made it hard and expensive to purchase and own machine guns and suppressors.
A former Executive Vice President of the NRA said it himself, “The National Rifle Association has been in support of workable, enforceable gun control legislation since its very inception in 1871.” (Franklin L. Orth NRA’s American Rifleman Magazine, March 1968, P. 22)
If you’re wondering where to redirect your dollars, start sending your money to these other pro-gun organizations.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) was founded in 1974 by author and businessman Alan Gottlieb. Focusing on fighting laws that violate gun rights, the SAF claims to have as many as 24 different court cases pending at a time. They played a big role in helping win D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. They currently are fighting for the right to 3D print firearms in Defense Distributed v. US Department of State.
According to SAF’s website:
The Foundation has been active in Second Amendment litigation for almost 40 years. It was involved in many cases—from overturning the San Francisco handgun ban to blocking a ban on the sale of handguns in New Haven, CT. The Foundation also has sponsored challenges to unfair concealed carry license practices in several states, including Ohio’s prohibition on concealed carry. One Foundation suit helped end 19 years of Los Angeles police denial of California CCWs, paving the way for issuance to average citizens. The Foundation has helped fund lawsuits against the 1994 federal gun ban, the California ban, and countersued cities that sued the gun industry.
There are 650,000 members of the SAF. Annual memberships cost $15 and only $150 for a lifetime membership. The SAF merged with two other big pro-gun organizations—Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) and Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership.
“The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington.” —Ron Paul
The Gun Owners of America are a “no-profit” lobbying organization which focuses on politics and legal issues. Founded in 1975 by a former California senator H.L. (Bill) Richardson, the GOA are Second Amendment absolutists and believe that any attempt at regulating firearms is unconstitutional. Erich Pratt is now Senior Vice President of GOA and John Velleco is the Executive Vice President.
There are 1.5 million GOA members. Annual membership is $20. With annual revenue of $2 million, the GOA helped pass the Firearm Owners Protection Act and helped prevent universal background checks after Sandy Hook by playing a part in defeating the Manchin-Toomey Bill.
GOA is very active when it comes to fighting for gun rights. They won a lawsuit allowing gun owners to sue the BATFE and recover damages for the “unlawful seizure of firearms.” They also fought against the bump stock ban.
The non-profit Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) focuses on “litigation and legal action, direct advocacy, grassroots activism, research, education and outreach. FPC “estimates that 21.6% of donations made are allocable to political or lobbying expenditures.”
Founded in 2013, less is written about the FPC than other pro-gun organizations and annual revenue and membership numbers aren’t readily available. However, membership is $25.
What is known is how active the group has been fighting for Second Amendment rights, including challenging the bump stock ban and the federal lifetime ban on gun possession by non-violent felons, supporting 3D printed firearms and fighting the ban on interstate handgun sales. It also fought California’s semiautomatic gun and magazine capacity ban. According to Ammoland, “The organization has also taken on Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Healey.”
The NRA isn’t the be all end all. There are plenty of larger and smaller and even local pro-gun groups fighting for gun rights.