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National Rifle Association

The National Rifle Association, one of the nation’s oldest advocacy groups, was formed in 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” Since that time, the NRA has evolved into the largest gun-rights lobbying organization in the United States.

The NRA describes itself as an organization committed to the promotion of firearm education, training and marksmanship. It has consistently defended its interpretation of the Second Amendment, arguing that attempts by the government to regulate arms are unconstitutional The NRA’s political involvement dates back to 1934, when it formed a legislative affairs division, which evolved into the group’s Institute for Legislative action in 1975. The NRA-ILA is the lobbying arm of the group and “is committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” The NRA-ILA provides action alerts to its members and fact sheets on gun legislation, as well as candidate grades and endorsements that are available to NRA members on the group’s website.

Comments: The NRA offers a great deal of information on firearms and marksmanship. However, the information reflects its opposition to gun regulation and restriction in any form.

Political Leanings: Conservative, favors fewer restrictions on guns