The National Rifle Association has been mired in controversy over the last few years. From its controversial internal strife to paying expensive lawyer fees for its bankruptcy proceedings, the NRA is not exactly in the best shape and cannot project the same degree of influence like it could in previous years.
As a result, grassroots Second Amendment organizations have stepped up to fill in the void for numerous fights at the state level. The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) was one organization that flexed its muscles and actually outspent the NRA in one notable case.
According to Second Amendment watchdog site Negotiating Rights Away, NAGR spent more money to help pass Constitutional Carry in Montana than the NRA. Last month, Montana substantially improved its gun laws by passing Constitutional Carry, without very little financial support from the NRA. As a result, grassroots organizations had to pick up the slack.
Citing figures from the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices database, Negotiating Rights Away found that the NRA only spent $8,390.15 during the current legislative session to promote Constitutional Carry. On the other hand, NAGR spent $23,748.54 in its lobbying efforts to make Montana the 18th Constitutional Carry state.
The two spending reports can be viewed here:
Groups like NAGR represent a growing base of gun owners who genuinely hate the current gun control regime in D.C. and many state legislatures nationwide. In addition, they don’t trust the NRA, which they view as corrupt and unprincipled.
This has resulted in the formation of a plethora of no compromise Second Amendment organizations at all levels of government to fight against the anti-Second Amendment Left. Many of these groups are humble operations that don’t rely on fat budgets like the NRA.
This goes to show that gun owners can mobilize quickly and bring political pain to state legislatures without the biggest of war chest. No compromise groups play a crucial role in not only pushing legislation like Constitutional Carry, but also keeping mainstream lobbies like the NRA honest. By constantly pushing the envelope, no compromise groups can, at times, move the NRA right on certain gun reforms.
But we should always remember that the real engine of change comes from grassroots organizations at the local and state level. Right-wingers would benefit from recognizing this and cutting their teeth in local and state fights to restore the Second Amendment.