National Rifle Association of America
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- The National Rifle Association is an American nonprofit organization which advocates for gun rights. It was first chartered in the state of New York on November 17, 1871 by Army and Navy Journal editor William Conant Church and General George Wood Wingate. The primary goal of the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis".
Recognizing a need for better training, Wingate traveled to Europe and observed European armies' marksmanship training programs. With plans provided by Wingate, the New York Legislature funded the construction of a modern range at Creedmoor, Long Island, for long-range shooting competitions. Wingate then wrote a marksmanship manual.
Originally founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA continues to teach firearm competency and safety. It instructs civilians and law enforcement, youths and adults, in various programs. The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events. It says its membership surpassed 5 million in May 2013. Over its history the organization has influenced legislation, participated in or initiated lawsuits, and endorsed or opposed various candidates.
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