United States of America – -(AmmoLand.com)- One thing that often causes hot debates is the question of which pro-Second Amendment group to support. Should Second Amendment supporters go with the National Rifle Association, which has been around for nearly 150 years? How about Gun Owners of America, and its famous “No Compromise” policy? What about the Second Amendment Foundation, responsible for a number of legal victories?
Believe it or not, there are a number of pro-Second Amendment organizations out there – some devoted to state issues, others taking a national focus. Here is a rundown on the major ones.
National Rifle Association
Membership: Between 5 and 6 million.
The NRA is the largest pro-Second Amendment organization in the United States. In addition to the lobbying, the group also does firearms safety training, law enforcement training, runs competitions, and provides hunter services. While some criticize it for the high salaries executives receive and an appearance of “compromising” on Second Amendment fights, it should be noted that the NRA has been the major target of the anti-Second Amendment extremists, going back decades – even before the 1977 Revolt in Cincinnati led by Harlon B. Carter.
Gun Owners of America
Membership: About 1.5 million
In the wake of a handgun ban being introduced in California, then-state senator H. L. Richardson founded Gun Owners of America as a “no compromise” group. While it is pro-Second Amendment, it seems to spend as much effort damning the NRA for being insufficiently pro-gun as it does in targeting anti-Second Amendment extremists. On the other hand, it does have the effect of making the NRA’s pro-Second Amendment advances look reasonable. GOA was founded months before the Revolt in Cincinnati.
Second Amendment Foundation
The Second Amendment Foundation has primarily worked on legal and educational efforts. Founded in 1974, it initially was intended to be an adjunct to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which was formed in 1971 as a lobbying group long before the NRA’s focus shifted after the Revolt in Cincinnati. While the NRA eclipsed it in lobbying, SAF has become a major player in litigation against laws that violate the Second Amendment. The group also issues several publications. The group has also adopted a number of gun-rights groups, notably Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership and Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership.
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
This organization provided a lot of research, mostly by pointing out a connection between the 20th century’s worst genocides and laws that disarmed the intended victims. The organization promoted Bill of Rights Day and was largely run by Aaron Zelman until his death in 2010. The group then was “adopted” by the Second Amendment Foundation, which has preserved its research.
Students for Concealed Carry
Founded in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting (the college was a gun-free zone), this group has pushed for allowing students with concealed carry permits to carry on their college campuses. In addition to having a national leadership, the organization has over 350 chapters in colleges across the country, helping a new generation of pro-Second Amendment activists prepare to take over the defense of our liberties.
Firearms Policy Coalition
Membership: Unknown, but Facebook page has over 300,000 likes and they have about 23,400 Twitter followers.
This group, primarily centered in California, has carried out litigation and grassroots efforts. Among its projects are litigation against the bump-stock ban, California's latest semi-auto ban, and California's magazine ban. The organization has also taken on Massachuetts Attorney General Martha Healey over 3D-printed guns, and is fighting Taser bans in Annapolis, Maryland and New York state.
WARNING: National Association for Gun Rights
This is a group that claims to be pro-Second Amendment, but it spends almost all of its time and energy attacking other pro-Second Amendment groups and fund raising. AmmoLand News has taken them to task in the past for “despicable deception.” Calling this group a scam is an insult to Bernie Madoff.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.