The National Rifle Association of America is an American nonprofit organization which advocates for gun rights.
Gun Rights include the right to keep and bear arms, to use firearms in self-defense, and to produce and sell firearms and ammunition.
A nonprofit organization is an organization with the purpose of which is something other than making a profit.
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Founded in 1871, the group has informed its members about firearm-related bills since 1934, and it has directly lobbied for and against legislation since 1975.
A firearm is a portable gun - a barreled weapon that launches one or more projectiles, often driven by the action of an explosive force.
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It is also the oldest continuously operating civil rights organization in the United States.
Founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA continues to teach firearm competency and safety.
A marksman is a person who is skilled in precision shooting, using projectile weapons, usually with a rifle but most commonly with a designated marksman rifle or a special application rifle, to shoot at long range targets.
It instructs civilians and law enforcement, youths and adults, in various programs.
The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events.
Membership surpassed 5 million in May 2013.
Observers and lawmakers see the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington.
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of officials in a government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.
Advocacy groups use various forms of advocacy in order to influence public opinion and/or policy.
Over its history the organization has influenced legislation, participated in or initiated lawsuits, and endorsed or opposed various candidates.
The NRA has several charitable subsidiaries: the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, the NRA Foundation Inc., the NRA Special Contribution Fund, and the NRA Freedom Action Foundation.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action is its lobbying arm, which manages its political action committee, the Political Victory Fund.
In the United States, a political action committee is a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation.