National Rifle Association

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The National Rifle Association of America, or NRA, is an American non-partisan, non-profit (501(c)(4)) organization which lists as its goals the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection of hunting and self-defense in the United States. It was established in 1871 in New York by William Conant Church and George Wood Wingate as the American Rifle Association; its first President was former Senator and famous Civil War Union Army General Ambrose Burnside.[2] President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant served as the NRA's eighth President[3] and General Philip H. Sheridan as its ninth.[4]

The NRA sponsors firearm safety training courses, as well as marksmanship events featuring shooting skills and sports. According to a 1999 Fortune survey, lawmakers and congressional staffers considered NRA the most influential lobbying group.[5] Its political activity is based on the principle that gun ownership is a civil liberty protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and is the oldest continuously operating civil rights organization in the United States. According to its website, the NRA has nearly four million members.[1]

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