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National Association for Gun Rights vs. NRA: How Do They Differ?

Image: National Association for Gun Rights vs. NRA: How Do They Differ?
(NAGR; NRA)

By    |   Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 01:20 PM

The mission statements of two of the United States’ top pro-gun lobbies, the National Association for Gun Rights and the National Rifle Association, sound very similar.

The NRA’s mission statement, summarized from its bylaws, is: "To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially with reference to the inalienable right of the individual American citizen guaranteed by such Constitution to acquire, possess, collect, exhibit, transport, carry, transfer ownership of, and enjoy the right to use arms." The statement also includes a focus on promoting public safety, training in the safe and efficient handling of small arms, hunter safety, and shooting sport promotion.

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The National Association for Gun Rights' mission statement says the organization was "established to promote firearms education, legal advocacy and the promotion of the Second Amendment. In the compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that profits. In the compromise between food and poison, it is only death that wins." The NAGR also "follows the courts closely" for purposes of legal advocacy and is working to start training programs nationwide.

But even with approximately the same mission, the two organizations have been highlighted in the media as taking different approaches. Here are a few facts about how they differ:

Budgets: Despite the much larger budget of the NRA, NAGR in 2013 started off the year by spending $1.9 million lobbying for gun rights, as compared to the $700,000 spent by the NRA, according to USA Today. By the end of 2013, NAGR spent $6.76 million to the NRA’s $3.41 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The NAGR continued to outspend the NRA in 2014, and as of September, the center reported it had spent $2.25 million next to $1.88 million for the NRA.

Background checks for buying guns: NAGR is against background checks of any kind. On its Facebook page, NAGR stated that opinion and took a jab at the NRA for allegedly failing to fight expanded background checks.

“NAGR will never ‘negotiate’ your gun rights away! But stories continue to surface that the NRA is in active talks with West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin on federally-expanding background checks on gun owners,” NAGR posted in 2013. “NAGR OPPOSES expanded background checks, so-called 'gun trafficking' legislation and new mental health 'mandates' and 'screenings.'"

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Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama and other (usually Democratic) leaders often point out the NRA used to be in favor of limited background checks. The Washington Post delved into that claim in 2013, determining that the organization did indeed change its opinion between 1999, when some statements were made indicating background checks at gun shows might be OK, and today.

The Post quoted Sandy Froman, NRA board member and former president, from a CNN interview: "The NRA has changed its position and the reason it’s changed its position is because the system doesn’t work."

• These two organizations may appear to be gunning for the same thing, but there is no love lost between them — at least from the perspective of NAGR. The NAGR website lays out the differences:

“The National Association for Gun Rights and the NRA are both gun rights organizations, but the similarities end there. NAGR has grown in recent years because hundreds of thousands of gun rights activists across the country are tired of the ‘inside the beltway’ institutional gun lobby. There has been a perception that the institutional gun lobby is more interested in having access to politicians and ‘getting something done.’ NAGR does not want ‘access’ to politicians, though we have friends that are elected officials, and certainly does not want to pass a gun bill ‘just to get something done.’”

“When I get approached by a 2nd Amendment organization looking for support, my first question has become ‘how much of their time and energy do they spend bashing the NRA?’ Well, NAGR is pretty much top dog at that. Dudley Brown's main focus appears to be nipping at the NRA's heels,” one commenter on a forum discussing the two organizations wrote in 2008. “It's somewhat ironic that I can't recall them scoring a single successful lawsuit or piece of legislation. They just yell.”

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The mission statements of two of the United States' top pro-gun lobbies, the National Association for Gun Rights and the National Rifle Association, sound very similar.
national association for gun rights, nra, differ
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2014-20-12
Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 01:20 PM
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