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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





November 24, 1871

The National Rifle Association (NRA)
is Incorporated in the United States

On this day in 1871 the National Rifle Association (NRA) was incorporated in the U.S. after Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate were disappointed at the lack of marksmanship of their troops. The NRA's original purpose was to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis". The NRA's first president was Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside. In 1903 the NRA began to promote the shooting sports among America's youth by opening rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies.

In 1934, the NRA formed the Legislative Affairs Division to guard against what they perceived as attacks on the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. They did not lobby at that time but they did keep members informed about legislative facts so that they could take action on their own but in 1975 they formed the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) to get more involved with the political process and is now considered a major political force as a defender of Second Amendment rights.

According to its website, the NRA now boasts more than 4 million members.