By Don McDougall
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Ask the NRA and they’ll tell you how many people paid dues this year.
Go to an NRA sanctioned match or drop by a gun range and ask a simple question. “Who here is a member of the NRA” and almost everyone will raise their hand.
But in reality only about 1 in 5 have paid their dues.
There are some dedicated competitors who contribute their dues every year, but most of the NRA’s memberships floats in and out of the organization. It’s estimated the NRA’s message touches over 50+ million gun owners.
Given there are over 130 million gun owners in the country and that the NRA keeps the name and e-mail address of anyone who ever belonged that should not be a surprise.
NRA sanctioned matches are supposed to be limited to active NRA members, but let’s be honest who ever checks?
I’ve been to matches and belonged to clubs where the “less than one in five” is very much the rule, the simple fact is most caual shooters do not care. Most clubs simply accept your word for it and smile as they hand you a score card. Even at the most active growing clubs there is a fear about losing a member.
More people shoot each weekend than play golf in the summer.
These shooters still consider themselves members of the NRA even if they paid their dues or not.
The oldest NRA card I’ve seen was over 40 years. It was at a Silhouette match in Southern California. You paid the club for your annual score books (That went to the NRA), and if you wanted the new Rules Book, you bought it from the NRA. I asked him once about rejoining, and he said, “Look at all the money I give them every year!”. This man was proud to have that decades old card; he was proud to have paid those dues….once. ( Back before most of you reading this were born.) And he considered his payments to the NRA for the score book and rules books to cover his dues somehow? Like most Silhouette shooters, he seems to have suffered from some kind of memory loss when it comes to spending any money.
So ask yourself a question. Are YOU an NRA member in more than just name? Did you pay your dues this year?
To be honest, I'd probably just like these guys, except I used the Easy Pay Plan decades ago. A small auto pay done quarterly and I never have to remember to pay that annual fee. Just set it up once and you get ALL the privileges of a life member FOREVER.
So come on guys – do the right thing.
Oh and if you’re running a match ask to see that current NRA card. You paid your dues let’s be fair to everyone .
About Don McDougall
Don McDougall is an NRA instructor and member of the Los Padres “Friends of the NRA” committee. If he’s not at the range you will find him setting the record straight with on gun issues and gun safety on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.