The NRA – Politics and New Gun Owners

By Don McDougall

Liberal Gun Owners
Liberal Gun Owners
Don McDougall
Don McDougall

United States -( As an NRA Instructor, I see it, you probably see it also. The New Gun Owners. The 20 something with that new shiny AR or Glock. They were bitten by the gun bug and almost immediately they’re in deep.

“The 2A is my carry permit.” “.. from my cold dead hand.”

These phrases fall trippingly off their tongue so quickly and easily you wonder if they understand the meaning behind them. They don’t shoot in competition, and they don’t join the NRA. But they can quote Mr. Colion Noir word for word and keep his videos on their iPhones for when things are slow. They spend $2,000 modifying their Glock 17 with gold plated tungsten parts. You and I would spend $85.00 on a trigger and the rest on ammunition and range time.

Last year I held basic gun classes for a Synagogue, every family sent one or more representatives. Jews’ know their history, and they prepare for the worst options our future may have to offer. When the truly ugly side of history is your families’ history you eventually recognize the need for self-defense. You hear the whispers of anti-Semitism in Hillary Clinton’s speeches and saw it more openly with President Obama.

No one wants to think bad things can happen here, but better to be a warrior in a park then a gardener in a war. People are scared, and some are taking precautions.

There are also a lot of closet gun owners. Devout liberals who have a Kimber 1911 hidden under their bed, hidden so that their liberal friends don’t see it and denounce them as a traitor to the liberal cause. I’ve taught more than my share of these new gun owners. When push comes to shove, they will vote to preserve their 2nd Amendment rights. And yes they keep their gun ownership secret from other liberals.

Over the past seven years, those States that keep track of how many people get permits to own guns have shown an average of about 7% growth. Compound that number and it’s obvious to anyone that of the 100,000,000 new guns sold since Obama became President a lot more than you think are going to this new breed of gun owner.

I believe that there were 100 million gun owners in 2007. The best number I could find, but the anti-gun left says it is only 65 million. Let’s be kind and use their values. Over the past seven years, this has increased by a compound basis of 7%. Let’s also add a 2% attrition rate to the number. That gives us 87 million gun owners today (Even if we use the left’s deflated numbers). ALL these new gun owners are of voting age and they have a higher turn out than the average populace. What this means is that the Pro-gun voting block is 22 million people larger than in the last presidential election. A shrinking Democrat Party (Registered Dem’s are now less than 30% of the Population) means a far more left-leaning Democrat Party.

A Party out of touch with the balance of America on issues like preserving your right to own a gun.

I would propose “McD’s Law” that the more anti-gun the candidate, the higher the turnout of pro-gun voters. Over the past seven years, the number of Pro-gun rights voters has increased 34%. Much of this increase is made up of once blindly loyal Democrats who will now vote to preserve their 2nd Amendment rights.

So what does all this have to do with the NRA? While this new class of gun owner does not join the NRA, they all (Every one of them) follows the NRA on Facebook and the web. They TRUST the NRA for news and events, and they are ALL influenced by the NRA in how they vote and who they support.

The NRA needs to increase it’s messaging to these non-members, recognizing that they will never join, but they will listen. They trust the NRA.

Point out that Hillary (if elected) will turn trial lawyers loose on the gun owners of America and that in the end none of us will be safe, and we will all lose our rights. We need to remind and educate new Gun Owners about this fact, and how their rights are at risk.

Join the NRA, Register to Vote, be active with a pro-gun campaign once the dust clears.

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.

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“They trust the NRA.” Why would anyone trust NRA? It’s a rotten front run by a corrupt bureaucracy concerned only with self perpetuation. Look at what NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde put in Illinois 2013 carry bill: Duty to Inform w/ criminal penalties, because the police unions wanted it. “Pro-gun” orgs don’t promote police state murder of armed citizens with legal cover. Vandermyde’s former boss William Dugan was president of the Intl. Union of Operating Engineers local 150 in Countryside, IL. Dugan was convicted by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in 2010. Great resume for the NRA lobbyist: worked for a union… Read more »


I really don’t understand people that say ‘we will lose our 2nd Amendment RIGHTS’. The government did not give us the ‘right’, so how do they take it away. They can make a law against it, but cannot take the ‘RIGHT’ away. Rights are granted by our Creator,,,not government.


The NRA is the best and proven organization who can get the votes out locally and nationally on a continuing basis for all elections, and can get grass roots support (letters, petitions, and presence at hearings), all in support of 2A rights. As a long time shooting enthusiast and someone who has carried for 15 years, I do worry about the casual attitude I see of many younger gun owners. They’re often self-trained or trained by youtube, their gun handling can be downright scary (I’ve walked out of several shooting ranges due to this), and they have no knowledge of… Read more »


Sounds like wishful thinking by an entity that’s losing market share to me (that new shooters who won’t join but the NRA can still direct their votes). But hey, by all means stay positive, try to adapt to the new gun culture, do what you can.

OP Author

Bob, not all gun owners fit in one of these three groups. These are traditional Democrat strongholds who are now 1st time gun owners. This is a paradigm shift for the left not the right.


Don’t know where you get that the NRA is shrinking when it has grown in membership about 25% over the last 4 years. Many of these new liberal gun owners are not used to having to do more than “like” a FB page to consider themselves a member of a group financed by others. As they rub elbows with those of us who truely understand how a grass roots organization works, more and more will join the NRA and other organizations. Eventually they will understand that it takes several focused organizations to help us protect and preserve our rights: the… Read more »


New gun owners need to join the NRA,GOA,or at least your home state association. This to me is as important as using quality ammo in a quality firearm. I have known people who spend 1000$+ on a handgun then want bargain cheap ammo to feed it,…no sense at all !

Mark L.

Excellent article and I believe it to be correct.