The Friends of National Rifle Association, a grassroots fund-raising program that donates money to gun-related events and shooting sports, is having a record-breaking year.
So far this year, the program has grossed $51 million, an impressive sum considering there are still 200 more events remaining from now until January. Overall, Friends of the NRA is projecting at least $65 million for the entire calendar year, a 30 percent increase from 2012.
“The success of this year’s Friends of NRA banquets would not have been possible without the hard work of our incredibly dedicated volunteers and attendees,” said Sarah Budi, Director of Volunteer Fundraising, in a press release.
“Our success is a direct result of their efforts and the reason 2013 has been a record breaking year,” she added. “Thanks to our supporters, the future continues to look bright for the shooting sports.”
Growth has been steady throughout the country. Last year, each event averaged about $11,000. This year, each event is averaging about $41,000.
“Funds raised by Friends of NRA protect our shooting heritage by supporting youth education, firearm training, range development, conservation efforts, and so much more,” said John da Silva, National Manager of Events and Marketing.
“From hunters, to competitive shooters, to those who are just proud gun owners, Friends of NRA ensures that all can enjoy the shooting sports for a very long time,” he added.
So, what accounts for the eye-popping growth?
Well, one can reasonably assume that President Obama has something to do with it. As does New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and the rest of the politicians calling for tougher gun laws.
Even though Obama failed to push through his gun control agenda, progress for the gun-control crowd was made at the state level in New York, Maryland, Colorado, and Connecticut where lawmakers approved sweeping new gun laws that restrict ways in which law abiding citizens exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Given this offensive and given that our right to keep and bear arms has never been in more peril than it is today, arguably, gun owners have no choice but to be politically active and engaged, which means not only showing up at the polls, at rallies, but also putting your money where you mouth is.
While the money raised from Friends doesn’t pay for lobbyist on Capitol Hill or for lawsuits challenging unconstitutional gun laws, the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action handles those affairs, it does go toward activities that foster and defend the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans.
As noted on the website, these activities are designed to promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological and artistic context.
In short, the money raised from these events goes to causes that help spread the gospel of guns — a worthy cause, no doubt.
Created in 1992, Friends of NRA fosters community involvement to raise money for local, state, and national shooting sports programs. Monies raised at Friends of NRA banquets go to The NRA Foundation, the nation’s largest charitable organization in support of the shooting sports.
For more information about Friends of NRA visit www.friendsofnra.org or contact Event Marketing and Communications Manager Nicole McMahon at (703) 267-1342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.