From its founding in 1871 as an organization dedicated to marksmanship training to its emergence as a powerful Second Amendment lobbying group 100 years later, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has a long and controversial history. Because of that, it has also been the subject of a great many rumors and internet memes.
In this collection of fact checks we address the many questions Snopes readers have sent our way about the NRA, its leadership, and its goals over the years. Just as gun violence is, and has been, a real and horrific problem in the United States, so is the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms, a cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution. To understand the history and trajectory of the NRA is to better understand the United States and its unique, often tragic obsession with firearms.