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The NRA: Nothing More Than Lobbyists for Gun Manufacturers

(List of gun and ammunition manufacturers and their biggest sales retailers for boycott and divestment are listed at the bottom of this page)

Over the last decade, a cowardly and NRA subservient Congress (mostly Republicans) have enacted laws that have only deregulated gun use in America. It’s no secret why.

The gun lobby is incredibly influential. But as we as a nation incessantly debate the potential for reform in the wake of all the gun tragedies at schools, theatres, synagogues and other venues of non-Christian worship, one of the first questions we should ask is: who does the gun lobby really represent?

The National Rifle Association portrays itself as an organization that represents “4 million members” who simply love the Second Amendment. This is a lie, plain and simple. The real truth is much more sinister and manipulative.

In reality, the NRA is composed of half a dozen legal entities; some designed to run undisclosed attack ads in political campaigns, others to lobby and collect tens of millions in undisclosed, and shameful tax-deductible contributions. This power has only been enhanced in the era of Citizens United, with the largest GOP donors in the last election reportedly funneling money to the NRA simply to use the group as a brand to pummel Democrats and Muslim Americans,  with nasty blatantly misinformation ads. Even the kleptocratic Koch Brothers network now provides an undisclosed amount to the NRA.

Despite the grassroots façade, the corporations that directly profit from unregulated gun use are propping up the NRA’s activities, much like how the tobacco lobby secretly funded “Smokers Rights’” front groups and libertarian anti-tax groups, or how polluting industries currently finance much of the climate change skepticism movement.

In a “special thanks” to their donors, the National Rifle Association Foundation lists Bushmaster Firearms Inc., the company that makes the assault rifle reportedly found with the shooter responsible for the mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut. How much Bushmaster Firearms Inc. (a firm now known as Windham) contributes is left unsaid.

Data from the Violence Policy Center estimated that since 2005, gun manufacturers have contributed over $40 million to the NRA. Those numbers, however, are based only on publicly listed “sponsorship” levels on NRA fundraising pamphlets. The real figures could be much bigger. Like Crossroads GPS or Americans for Prosperity, or the Sierra Club for that matter, the NRA does not disclose any donor information even though it spends millions on federal elections.

And like other industry lobbying fronts, the NRA is quick to conceal its pro–gun industry policy positions as ideological commitments.

Take, for example, “The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.” It’s nothing more than a pro–gun rights legal fund “involved in court cases establishing legal precedents in favor of gun owners”. In other words, when the gun profiteers get sued, the "fund" pulls out the big "legal guns to blow away the plaintiffs."

And who helps pick which impact-litigation cases the NRA will become involved with? Folks like James W. Porter II, a board member of the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, who doubles as an attorney whose private firm specializes in “areas of products liability defense of firearms manufacturers.” His last client, according to a search of the federal court docket, was Smith & Wesson Corporation.

Any gun control policy debate should begin with this question:

"Is the NRA working for casual gun-owners, many of whom support tougher restrictions on irresponsible gun ownership— or is the NRA serving the gunmaker lobby— which is purely interested in policies that will promote greater gun sales, more profits, and many more "friendly fire deaths" right here in the United States?"

In truth, we all know what the honest answer is!

Boycott and Divestment

Here is a list of gun manufacturers and their biggest retail sales organizations for stock divestment or direct consumer boycotts:

1. Smith and Wesson - symbol SWHC

2. Sturm Ruger - symbol RGR

3. Olin Corporation (owns Winchester ammunition) - symbol OLN

4. Alliant Techsystems (ammunition maker) - symbol ATK

6. Cabela's - symbol CAB

5. Dick's Sporting Goods - symbol DKS

7. Wal-Mart - symbol WMT

8. Bass Pro Shop (private)

9. Gander Mountain (private

10. Academy (private)

Note: Both Dick's Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart are working towards NOT selling semi-automatic weapons; get updates!

* An online list of most of the firearms and handgun manufacturers is here: www.americanfirearms.org 

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