Most of us are familiar with the historical founding of the NRA in 1871, where two Civil War veterans in New York set out to improve the shooting abilities of Union soldiers. But the growth of NRA membership rests squarely on the shoulders of local clubs and state associations. Today, there are literally thousands of NRA-affiliated groups that enrich the day-to-day activities of our members. As NRA approaches its 150th birthday next year, let’s take a look at the support available to these important organizations.
Our Clubs & Associations Department provides services and assistance to a network of almost 14,000 NRA-affiliated clubs, associations and businesses. The department also provides NRA Range Services that offer resources and educational material to public and private ranges, including on-site support, reference material, seminars and grants. rangeservices.nra.org.
Each year, the department honors outstanding clubs, state associations, youth clubs and an individual or organization for their service. The awards program recognizes significant accomplishments achieved in areas of organization, operation and public service rendered to their community. For more information, visit awards.nra.org/awards/club-awards. The NRA Gold Medal Award program is another way NRA recognizes outstanding clubs that have 100% NRA Club membership. To see if your club was one of the 2020 Gold Medal Award winners, go to: awards.nra.org/awards/gold-medal-clubs.
State associations are another vital support area within the Clubs & Associations Department. NRA depends on state associations to promote firearms safety and education as well as the Second Amendment within their states, and to motivate NRA-affiliated clubs and grassroots volunteers to activate programs in their local communities. To take part, find your state association listed here: stateassociations.nra.org/find-your-state-association.
The benefits of becoming an NRA-affiliated Club include grants, awards, range services and discounts on products and software. Reference material is available on a variety of club-related topics including: How to Incorporate/Benefits of Incorporation; Club Webinars for Leader’s and Development Teams; and a Club Leaders Guide that can serve as a draft for your club charter.
Another major part of the department is the NRA Business Alliance Program. The Business Alliance was established to provide NRA member businesses with a marketplace to sell goods and services to fellow NRA members. Business Alliance members enjoy many benefits, including NRA member magazines and discounts on a wide range of business services. Support the businesses that support NRA by visiting the online directory at nraba.org/BA/Directory. To join the NRA Business Alliance, see: nraba.org.
All of these services form a team where common resources can be marshaled together for the benefit of everyone who participates. Despite the pandemic that has affected all of us, NRA continues to support our affiliated organizations during these troubled times. When we take into account our other programs such as the NRA Instructor Program, NRA Day, YHEC (Youth Hunter Education Challenge) and the Marksmanship Program, the future is bright for 2021 events that will help draw-in new gun owners to your local club or organization.
For more information on how your club or association can benefit, go to: clubs.nra.org/clubsonline/Home/Index.