NRA Timeline

NRA & Gun Control


Biden Begins Gun Control Push

On February 14, 2021, President Biden used the three-year anniversary of the criminal attack in Parkland, Florida to call “on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put…Read More

Bank of America Turns “Weapons-Related” Purchase Data Over to the Feds

According to a recent Fox News report, Bank of America secretly turned over hundreds of its customers’ personal data to the federal government following the unrest at the Capitol on January 6. The targeted customers included those who made purchases at “weapons-related merchants” in early January. The report suggested that…Read More

Guns Down America formed

Founded by Igor Volsky in 2016, who spent 10 years working at the Center for American Progress building coalitions for rapid response campaigns across progressive issues, GDA has a history of quickly driving rapid response efforts that further the liberal agenda. Guns Down America wants to move our country to…Read More

Everytown for Gun Safety

In 2013, Mayors Against Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America came together in the name of gun control.

Gun Owners for Safety

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, later renamed Gun Owners For Safety In 2017 the organization was reorganized, becoming Giffords.

Moms Demand Action

Founded by Shannon Watts the day after the Sandy Hook shooting, She started a Facebook group to blame guns for the tragedy. Later joined with Mayors against Guns to for Everytown For Gun Safety.

McDonald v. City of Chicago

McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, is a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that found that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms,” as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by either the Due Process Clause or Privileges or Immunities Clause…Read More

District of Columbia v. Heller

On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed by a vote of 5 to 4 the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Heller v. District of Columbia. The Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 as unconstitutional, determined that handguns are “arms”…Read More

Mayors Against Guns

Mayors Against Guns was formed in April 2006 during a summit co-hosted by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York City and Thomas Menino of Boston at New York’s mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion. It is a coalition of current and former mayors advocating for regulating all guns, not simply “illegal guns,”…Read More

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

In 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was signed by President George W. Bush to prevent gun manufacturers and sellers from being named in federal or state civil suits by those who were victims of crimes involving guns made by that company. The first provision of this…Read More

Tiahrt Amendment

The Tiahrt Amendment, proposed by Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), prohibited the ATF from publicly releasing data showing where criminals purchased their firearms and stipulated that only law enforcement officers or prosecutors could access such information. “The law effectively shields retailers from lawsuits, academic study and public scrutiny,” The Washington Post wrote…Read More

“From my cold, dead hands”

By 2000, the NRA had become even more closely aligned with the Republican Party and worked strenuously to keep Al Gore from becoming president. At the annual meeting in May of that year, Hollywood legend Heston provided what might be the signature moment in the history of the NRA. He…Read More

Charlton Heston Becomes NRA First Vice President

At the 1997 annual meeting in Seattle, Knox ran for the office of first vice president, a position that would put him in the line of succession to become president of the NRA. But suddenly he had competition for that job from none other than Charlton Heston. The legendary actor…Read More

Oklahoma City Bombing

Timothy McVeigh’s April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people, including 19 children in a day-care center, and although the NRA had nothing to do with the terrorist attack, the association’s strident anti-government rhetoric drew national attention. News reports focused on a fundraising letter, signed…Read More

Assault Weapons Ban

Democrats in Congress and some Republican allies passed an assault-weapons ban in 1994. Tucked into the sweeping and controversial Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act signed by President Clinton in 1994, is the subsection titled Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act. This is known as the assault…Read More

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

Enacted November 30, 1993), often referred to as the Brady Act or the Brady Bill,[1][2] is an Act of the United States Congress that mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States, and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases, until the National Instant Criminal Background Check…Read More

Waco seige

The Waco siege, also known as the Waco massacre, was the law enforcement siege of the compound that belonged to the religious sect Branch Davidians. It was carried out by the U.S. federal government, Texas state law enforcement, and the U.S. military, between February 28 and April 19, 1993. The…Read More

2 civilians killed in a federal raid at Ruby Ridge, Idaho

Ruby Ridge was the site of an 11-day siege in 1992 in Boundary County, Idaho, near Naples. It began on August 21, when deputies of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) initiated action to apprehend and arrest Randy Weaver under a bench warrant after his failure to appear on firearms…Read More

San Antonio Annual Meeting

The NRA made a comeback in part because of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The gun-control effort, named for White House press secretary James Brady, who was wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan, called for a seven-day waiting period on gun purchases and a background check on…Read More

Brady Bill Introduced

The original legislation was introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative Charles E. Schumer in March 1991, but was never brought to a vote. The bill was reintroduced by Rep. Schumer on February 22, 1993 and the final version was passed on November 11, 1993. It was signed into…Read More

Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986

After years of lobbying by the NRA, Congress passed the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, which, among other gun-friendly provisions, eased restrictions on interstate sales of firearms and expressly prohibited the federal government from creating a database of gun ownership. A huge NRA triumph, the media declared. Some lawmakers…Read More

Wayne LaPierre hired by the NRA

LaPierre was hired by Knox in 1978 as an NRA lobbyist. He had helped write the gun-friendly 1986 legislation, and he maintained an unwavering stance on the Second Amendment.

Cincinnati Revolt

The Revolt at Cincinnati, also known as the Cincinnati Coup and the Cincinnati Revolution, was a change in National Rifle Association (NRA) leadership and organizational policy that took place at the group’s 1977 annual convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Led by former NRA President Harlon Carter and Neal Knox, the movement…Read More

NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF) PAC

The NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF) PAC was established in 1976 to challenge gun-control candidates and to support gun-rights candidates. An NRA “A+” candidate is one who has “not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and…Read More

NRA forms the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA)

The passage of the GCA in 1968 galvanized a growing number of NRA gun rights activists, including Harlon Carter and Neil Knox. In 1975, the NRA began to focus more on politics and established its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), with Harlon Carter as director.

Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI)

The National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH) was founded in 1974. From 1980 through 2000 it operated under the name Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI). In 2001, it was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and its sister project, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, was renamed the Brady…Read More

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV)

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) gun control organization founded in 1974. They are the nation’s oldest gun control organization. They are the affiliate organization of The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. CSGV is dedicated to taking on the National Rifle Association (NRA). They were the first gun…Read More

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms formed

In 1972 ATF was officially established as an independent bureau within the Treasury Department on July 1, 1972, this transferred the responsibilities of the ATF division of the IRS to the new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The ATF was formerly part of the United States Department of the…Read More

Gun Control Act of 1968

Following the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed for the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. The GCA repealed and replaced the FFA, updated Title II of the NFA…Read More

NRA Police Firearms Instructor certification program

NRA became the only national trainer of law enforcement officers with the introduction of its NRA Police Firearms Instructor certification program in 1960. Today, there are more than 13,000 NRA-certified police and security firearms instructors. Additionally, top law enforcement shooters compete each year in eight different pistol and shotgun matches…Read More

United States v. Miller

In 1939 the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case United States v. Miller, ruling that through the National Firearms Act of 1934, Congress could regulate the interstate selling of a short barrel shotgun. The court stated that there was no evidence that a sawed off shotgun “has some reasonable relationship…Read More

Federal Firearms Act (FFA) of 1938

The Federal Firearms Act (FFA) of 1938 required gun manufacturers, importers, and dealers to obtain a federal firearms license. It also defined a group of people, including convicted felons, who could not purchase guns, and mandated that gun sellers keep customer records. The FFA was repealed in 1968 by the…Read More

National Firearms Act of 1934

The NRA endorsed the first major federal gun-control law, the National Firearms Act of 1934. At congressional hearings, Karl Frederick, former NRA president, was asked if the Second Amendment was a bar to the law. His answer was, from today’s vantage point, remarkable: “I have not given it any study…Read More

Legislative Affairs Division created

In response to repeated attacks on the Second Amendment rights, NRA formed the Legislative Affairs Division in 1934. While NRA did not lobby directly at this time, it did mail out legislative facts and analyses to members, whereby they could take action on their own. In 1975, recognizing the critical…Read More

Compromise of 1877 – Jim Crow laws

The Compromise of 1877 was an unwritten deal, informally arranged among U.S. Congressmen, that settled the intensely disputed 1876 presidential election. It resulted in the United States federal government pulling the last troops out of the South, and ending the Reconstruction Era. Through the Compromise, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was…Read More

United States v. Cruikshank

The Second Amendment attracted serious judicial attention with the Reconstruction era case of United States v. Cruikshank which ruled that the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment did not cause the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, to limit the powers of the State governments, stating that…Read More

National Rifle Association of America founded

The “National Rifle Association” was granted a charter by the state of New York, “to promote rifle practice, and for this purpose to provide a suitable range or ranges in the vicinity of New York”

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments, it addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves…Read More

2nd Freedmen’s Bureau Bill

The Freedmen’s Bureau bill that passed in 1866 provided many additional rights to ex-slaves, including the distribution of land, schools for their children, and military courts to ensure these rights. The Freedmen’s Bureau Act gave ex-slaves “any of the civil rights or immunities belonging to white persons, including the right…Read More

Civil Rights Act of 1866

The first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended, in the wake of the American Civil War, to protect the civil rights of persons of African descent born in or brought to the United States.…Read More

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. It was ratified on December 15, 1791, along with nine other articles of the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common…Read More