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- Jun 2022
Wayne LaPierre, the current executive vice president, warned members in 1995 that anyone who wears a badge has “the government’s go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.”
A sign of the NRA’s new determination to influence electoral politics was the 1980 decision to endorse, for the first time in the organization’s 100 years, a presidential candidate. Their chosen candidate was none other than Ronald Reagan,
In May 1977, Carter and his allies staged a coup at the annual membership meeting. Elected the new executive vice president, Carter would transform the NRA into a lobbying powerhouse committed to a more aggressive view of what the Second Amendment promises to citizens.
In 1976, Maxwell Rich, the executive vice president, announced that the NRA would sell its building in Washington, D.C., and relocate the headquarters to Colorado Springs, retreating from political lobbying and expanding its outdoor and environmental activities.
In the 1960s, the NRA once again supported the push for new federal gun laws. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald, who had bought his gun through a mail-order ad in the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine, Franklin Orth, then the NRA’s executive vice president, testified in favor of banning mail-order rifle sales. “We do not think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.”
When Congress was considering the first significant federal gun law of the 20th century—the National Firearms Act of 1934, which imposed a steep tax and registration requirements on “gangster guns” like machine guns and sawed-off shotguns—the NRA endorsed the law. Karl Frederick and the NRA did not blindly support gun control; indeed, they successfully pushed to have similar prohibitive taxes on handguns stripped from the final bill, arguing that people needed such weapons to protect their homes. Yet the organization stood firmly behind what Frederick called “reasonable, sensible, and fair legislation.”
In the 1920s and ’30s, the NRA was at the forefront of legislative efforts to enact gun control. The organization’s president at the time was Karl T. Frederick, a Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer known as “the best shot in America”—a title he earned by winning three gold medals in pistol-shooting at the 1920 Summer Olympic Games. As a special consultant to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Frederick helped draft the Uniform Firearms Act, a model of state-level gun-control legislation.
- police brutality
- Uniform Firearms Act
- Karl Frederick
- gun control
- Waye LaPierre
- Ronald Reagan
- Maxwell Rich
- Harlon Carter
- National Firearms Act of 1934
- National Rifle Association
- American history
- Karl T. Frederick
- Franklin Orth
The Mulford Act was a 1967 California bill that prohibited public carrying of loaded firearms without a permit. Named after Republican assemblyman Don Mulford, and signed into law by governor of California Ronald Reagan, the bill was crafted with the goal of disarming members of the Black Panther Party who were conducting armed patrols of Oakland neighborhoods, in what would later be termed copwatching. They garnered national attention after Black Panthers members, bearing arms, marched upon the California State Capitol to protest the bill.