The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a prominent American organization that primarily advocates for gun rights and the Second Amendment. Founded in 1871, the NRA has evolved over the years into a major political force. Here is a brief history of the organization: 1. **Founding and Early Years (1871-1933)**: The NRA was established by Union Army veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate in 1871. Their initial goal was to promote marksmanship and firearm safety in response to the poor shooting skills exhibited by many soldiers during the [[Civil War]]. During this period, the NRA focused on education, training, and competitive shooting events. 2. **[[The New Deal]] and the Federal Firearms Act (1934)**: The NRA began engaging in legislative advocacy during the 1930s. The organization was initially supportive of the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, which regulated the sale of machine guns and short-barreled rifles and shotguns. The NRA played a role in shaping the legislation to ensure that it did not infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. 3. **The Gun Control Act of 1968**: The assassination of President [[John F. Kennedy (JFK)]], [[civil rights]] leader Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy led to a public outcry for stricter gun control measures. The NRA opposed the Gun Control Act of 1968, which imposed stricter licensing and regulation on firearms dealers, expanded the definition of prohibited persons, and banned the mail-order sale of firearms and ammunition. 4. **The Cincinnati Revolt (1977)**: A pivotal moment in the NRA's history occurred during the organization's annual meeting in Cincinnati. A group of hardline gun rights activists successfully staged a coup against the NRA's leadership, shifting the organization's focus from sporting and marksmanship to a more aggressive defense of the Second Amendment. 5. **The Firearm Owners Protection Act (1986)**: The NRA played a significant role in the passage of the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA), which relaxed some restrictions of the Gun Control Act of 1968, including the prohibition on interstate sales of firearms. 6. **The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban (1993-1994)**: The NRA opposed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers and imposed a waiting period on handgun sales. Additionally, the organization fought against the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the manufacture of certain semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines for civilian use. The ban was in effect from 1994 to 2004. 7. **Present-Day NRA**: In recent years, the NRA has continued to lobby against gun control measures and advocate for the Second Amendment. The organization has faced financial challenges, internal strife, and scandals -- including allegations of money laundered from Russia and other foreign nationals -- but it remains a powerful force in American politics.