The National Rifle Association has notched a giant milestone: its 150th anniversary.

“For 150 years, millions of Americans from all walks of life, races, colors, and creeds have been proud members of the National Rifle Association of America. From Presidents of the United States, military heroes, those with household names to rank and file Americans like us, all have entrusted the NRA to be the guardians of their Second Amendment, their self-defense and hunting rights, and indeed their freedom as Americans,” NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre completely advised Fox News. 

“That is a solemn duty that all of us at the NRA take seriously. That is why the NRA never has and never will shrink from a fight.”

Wayne LaPierre, NRA vice president and CEO, speaks to guests at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits on April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Wayne LaPierre, NRA vice chairman and CEO, speaks to company at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits on April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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The NRA was formally based on Nov. 17, 1871, by Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate. The pair launched the group after they grew to become disheartened by the lack of marksmanship amongst their troops throughout the battle. Church defined in an op-ed at the time that the NRA’s major aim was to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.”

NRA founders Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate

NRA founders Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate
(Provided by the NRA)

Its historical past additionally contains arming Americans so they may struggle again towards the Ku Klux Klan, and the group touts that some of its first members have been Black Americans seeking to defend themselves towards Klan members. Nine of its 10 first presidents have been additionally Union veterans who fought to defeat slavery. 

NRA INSTRUCTOR TRAINS THOUSANDS OF INNER CITY WOMEN ‘TO ENSURE THEY’RE NEVER VICTIMS’

The affiliation has repeatedly come beneath fireplace from liberals who say it’s rooted in racism, which LaPierre additionally shot down earlier this 12 months at CPAC.

“The fact is, before the color barrier was broken in professional sports, before it was broken in schools, lunch lines, water fountains, in the media, or in Hollywood, before all of that, and since our founding 150 years ago, the National Rifle Association of America has not only welcomed all Americans. We’ve fought for civil rights and constitutional freedom for all Americans!” LaPierre stated at the time. 

An NRA member

An NRA member
(NRA)

Through the years, the NRA has remained on the right track with its founders’ aim: coaching Americans. 

During World War II, the NRA opened its ranges to the authorities and developed coaching tips. After the battle, it targeted on coaching hunters and established the first hunter education program, which has since unfold from New York to throughout the nation and Canada. In 1957, native North Carolina NAACP chief Rob Williams chartered an NRA-affiliated membership to assist residents of Monroe struggle the KKK. And by 1960, the NRA grew to become the solely nationwide coach of regulation enforcement officers with its Police Firearms Instructor certification program. 

The numerous coaching programs proceed to right this moment. One NRA teacher not too long ago touted that he has educated hundreds of ladies from Detroit on how one can safely defend themselves with weapons “to ensure they’re never victims.” 

The group additionally has additionally celebrated the many U.S. presidents all through historical past who have been NRA members, together with John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. 

Conservative political leaders additionally celebrated the NRA’s birthday on social media, heralding the group as one defending freedom.