The Rise and Fall of the NRA

It started as a hunting group — but today the NRA is practically unrecognizable from its inception almost 150 years ago.

Student-led Demonstrations Around the U.S. Lead to NRA Financial Free Fall

How did the NRA go from a hunting and shooting group to gaining 5.5 million members millions of dollars in income massive political influence — then an organization in “grave danger?” In 1871 - The National Rifle Association is founded by former Union generals to support hunters, sportsmen, target shooters after the Civil War. 1968 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Gun Control Act of 1968 regulating the sale of firearms. From 1975 – 1976, After decades as a nonpartisan organization, the NRA establishes a lobbying arm, and a political action committee in part to campaign against gun sale restrictions. 1999 - Fortune Magazine calls the NRA the most powerful lobbying organizationin the United States. April 20, 1999 - A shooting at Columbine High School sparks countrywide debates about gun control. 2016 - The NRA spends over $400 million supporting Donald Trump and other Republican candidates — it’s highest election cycle spending ever.

17 students are killed in a shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. February 17, 2018 Parkland student Emma González becomes an overnight celebrity-activist with her “We Call BS” speech. Over the next few months, the Parkland students build a grassroots campaign against the NRA and in favor of gun control. Over 1 million people attend March For Our Lives — a series of student-led demonstrations around the U.S. protesting gun violence. Months of public pressure lead companies like Avis, Delta, and Fedex to sever their financial ties with the NRA.

The NRA reports losing $55 million in income for the year. A fundraising letter, NRA Chief Executive Wayne Lappierre warns of the group's dire financials. A public feud between NRA president Oliver North and Lappierre leads to North stepping down. New York Attorney General Letitita James launches an investigation into the NRA’s finances. The NRA is forced to shut down its online media arm and an NRA lobbyist reports that the organization is in “grave danger.”


07/18/2019 10:20 AM


  • Michael K.
    09/03/2020 01:53

    Why no one has ever brought down the NRA, because Democrats like to hunt and fish too

  • Luis R.
    09/01/2020 21:16


  • Bob L.
    08/24/2020 04:25

    Good ridance.....

  • Tim M.
    08/21/2020 22:24

    Same way Black Lives Matter did collecting money for political gain follow the money

  • Doshi D.
    08/17/2020 20:54

    When? After thousands of Ameicans die!!

  • Donald P.
    08/12/2020 16:53

    The old fashioned way, they turned into the mob!

  • Nigel C.
    08/12/2020 14:24

    Soon the FBI and DHS will investigate the NRA for possible links to various radicalized groups and international terrorist groups for fundings, aiding and abetting via supply and shipments of banned weapons and ammunition. How did the NRA ended up from a hunting organization to a lobbyist groups for funding political leaders to suit their agenda.

  • Teresa N.
    08/10/2020 19:24

    Liberals own guns. We just don't lack in other things to try to see who has the biggest.

  • Will B.
    08/09/2020 17:21

    I liked Charlton Heston as an Actor, but we must move on in the 21st Century, but unfortunately he died and we 🇺🇸’s know how bad the wrong use of guns has become! Other Countries do very well without this type of evil violence perpetrated on everyday folks! It’s all about money 💰 and power and not safety ⁉️These NRA rich dudes know this⁉️🛑🦁👎The Truth will always out⁉️👏👏

  • Claudia T.
    08/08/2020 15:43

    America land of gun care and health control.

  • Claudia T.
    08/08/2020 15:40

    Karl T. Frederick, president and founder of the NRA, "I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses." Now the same organization is nothing but a terrorist org partially funded by Russia.

  • Claire M.
    08/08/2020 00:17

    What is so crazy is the 5.5 million people, while a lot of members, is ONLY a fraction of the 209 million US adults. That is 2.6% of the population of adults. Yet 88% of adults, when polled, want background checks and better gun sense laws. That shows you the absolutely outsized power that the NRA has in politics.

  • Jaylyn-Grant B.
    08/08/2020 00:10

    this is fake the union did not set this up for people who were hunting , or target practice , it was set up so that americans can be there own first line of defense in any situation weather it be domestic terrorism or foreign terrorism , liberal bs

  • Justine W.
    07/10/2020 18:49

    Pardon me but your Constitution has had quite a number of "tweaks over the last century or two And as for the second amendment 200 years ago automatic weapons hadn't bern invented I think when Gefferson ect ment to defend yourselves I think they ment possible colonial invasion Not three years old finding Daddy's gun and killing Daddy with it Which by the way happens rather alot over there 🤔 Far more toddlers are killed by patently owned guns than your FBI kill terrorists on American soil Every Year Again am sure not what your Founding Fathers had in mind im quite sure it wasn't That But sadly its too late either way as even if your Government banned the sale of high powered weapons tomorrow and asked you to hand in simi auto guns Which if you Need for hunting Give up you can't Hunt The good guys might comply but not the bad guys

  • Mike H.
    07/31/2019 23:27

    NRA was not founded as a hunting group. Please do some research.

  • Kenneth R.
    07/31/2019 14:02

    God Bless the NRA!

  • Ronald H.
    07/31/2019 09:11

    When the guns have been banned you will then learn the Democrats were behind these shootings to get gun control and make slaves of the American people...

  • Troy C.
    07/30/2019 23:57

    Wow who put all the false info Into this article? It takes one a few seconds to find out the NRA was not founded for hunting. Just like the constitution and the 2nd amendment isnt about deer rifles. So based on that aspect alone o find any further comments the author makes a waste of time.

  • Brad F.
    07/30/2019 13:54

    Ok however you want it.

  • Martin M.
    07/30/2019 00:39

    The students are not a "grassroots" movement, they are well funded actors for gun-control groups.

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