Gun rights organizations


Father Knows Best
August 4, 2005, 04:13 PM
Who can tell me about them, and what the differences are? I'm a member of the NRA, but there are any number of other groups. Specifically, I'm thinking of:

Gun Owners of America:
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms:
Second Amendment Foundation:

Do you belong to any of these groups? Which one(s) and why or why not? Does anyone have links to financial disclosures? Specifically, I'm wondering how much of the money they raise goes into overhead and salaries vs. lobbying, political campaign contributions, etc. I'm always suspicious that some "special interest" groups exist more to serve the interests of the executives that run them than their membership.

Thanks in advance

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August 4, 2005, 08:21 PM
Disclaimer, INAL. :)

Some are 501(c)4 and some are 501(c)3 corporations, which have different goals/capabilities.

501(c)3 corps are almostly purely educational/social benefit..they're very restricted on lobbying efforts. 501(c)4 corps are allowed a bit more leeway, but donations to them are typically not tax deductable.

I know SAF and CCRBKA are related..with SAF being the (c)3, I think..often, one group will have two types of organizations under one umbrella to use money the most effectively (think NRA Educational foundation, NRA-ILA, etc.)

You'll even find some gun-rights groups are for-profit, which makes me squeamish, but there you go.

Standing Wolf
August 4, 2005, 08:27 PM
In my personal, admittedly slightly less than humble opinion, everyone should participate in a state Second Amendment organization, as well as the N.R.A., G.O.A., and assorted other national organizations.

National news gets the headlines. States are where we actually live.

August 4, 2005, 08:52 PM
It's also the level you can be personally involved in. There's nothing stopping anyone on this board from going to a state legislature and offering testimony on any bill they want. No one ever does, but they should.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 5, 2005, 09:52 AM
I donate to SAF on occasion because I've been impressed with the work they have done.

Father Knows Best
August 5, 2005, 10:16 AM
I donate to SAF on occasion because I've been impressed with the work they have done.

Like what? Can you give me some examples?

I don't have the money or the time to join all of them. I want to join one, and get heavily involved with it. You know -- do the "citizen" and "activist" thing. The question is which one.

I know that all 501(c)(4) organizations have to file an IRS Form 990 every year that discloses a lot about their finances. Does anyone know a source on the web for them? I couldn't find them, either at the organization's websites, the IRS site, or though Google (other than one site that requires you to buy a "premium membership" to access them).

And c'mon, GOA members! I see people on this board all the time urging others to join GOA. Tell me why!

August 5, 2005, 10:50 AM
I belong to NRA but no other gun groups.

They are all willing to take your money and give back nothing in return.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 5, 2005, 10:53 AM
Take a look at their website to see some of the work they do and legal cases that they support:

August 5, 2005, 10:56 AM
I am a Lifetime Member of the NRA (which means that they will send me junk mail for the rest of my life.) The NRA gets a bad rap because of the reams of junk mail they constantly send out. They are both really good a raising money and phenomenally annoying. They make their share of bad mistakes, but over all they are a very powerful force in American politics.

I am also a member of GOAL Massachusetts. They have an extremely well organized letter writing and email system to bombard our Congresscritters.

August 5, 2005, 11:38 AM
I too am in the NRA and GOAL.

If you're in a bad state like MA, NJ, CA etc., you'll want to join the state organization along with the NRA. If you're in a good state, then the NRA plus a more hard-line organization like SAF might be worthwhile.

August 5, 2005, 11:48 AM
Check out your state shooting association for more of a local presence.

In addition to the NRA, I belong to the Colorado State Shooters Association. They send legistaltive updates, action alerts with contact information, have raffles, banquets, fun shoots.

August 5, 2005, 02:49 PM
GOA is a no compromise type organization. JPFO is the same. Sometimes they are criticized for this. Some say GOA would rather see no improvement if they can not have the whole enchilada all at once. Others say the NRA give away too much in their compromises. GOA and JPFO both have railed against the trigger lock provision in the recently passed S. 397 bill to protect gun manufactures from frivilous lawsuits. I believe one or both have come out against the provision in the same bill to "study" armor piercing ammo as well. GOA has pushed for Vermont style CCW. I am a member of NRA, but my heart and checkbook are with GOA and JPFO. I also am a member of a state gun-rights group in Michigan. MCRGO. I need to talk to Dan from MI or someone else. I may be joining MGO soon, too.

I really like the email alerts that I get from GOA. They also send me prewritten postcards to mail to my congress critters. NRA does this, too, occasionally. GOA also has a nice set-up on their website to email congress critters.

I hope some of this has been helpful.

August 5, 2005, 09:21 PM
Not all non-profits orgs have to file with the IRS..only if they earn a certain amount of money. That means larger ones probably will, but smaller ones may not.

You can find information on c(3)s at I'm not sure if information on other non-profit corporations is available or not.

I can tell you that your time is probably at least as valuable as your money to these organizations.

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