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In the United States, lobbying refers to an activity in which groups with special interests advocate for specific legislations to the government or law making bodies. Usually, these lobbying groups make use of highly qualified professional advocates since the subject being advocated for often involves interpretation of complex laws. In the United States, lobbying is protected by the constitution and is interpreted as free speech. This paper examines the activities of one of the biggest lobby groups in the United States - the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).

According to Sugarmann, NRA is a non-profit interest group based in America that was created in order to “preserve and defend” the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution (Sugarmann, 2011). NRA was founded in 1871 by George Wingate and William C. Church who were the veterans of the American Civil War. The group has a large membership of about four million peoples spread across all congressional districts. The success of this group can be attributed to its good organization and subdivisions and its dedication to ensure member satisfaction. The NRA relies on gun clubs, gun shops, and gun magazines to spread messages beyond its members. The group offers educational programs where it trains the public on the importance of firearm safety. Approximately 750,000 gun owners are trained every year. The interest of the group has expanded to political arenas. Being one of the most powerful players in politics, NRA is able to influence election results (National Rifle Association of America, 2010). Despite its involvement in politics, the organization remains true to its roots and continues to offer safety programs that encourage responsible use of firearms.

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The organization encourages and promotes ownership of firearms. The NRA opposes all forms of firearm regulations such as restrictions on the ownership of guns, regular check on gun owners and registration of firearms. It is one of the biggest lobbies in Washington and its influence is felt not only through its enormous spending in advertisement, but also through its contribution in political activities. The NRA argues that the second amendment in the U.S. constitution should be protected. The second amendment, which was adopted in 1791, is a part of the U.S. Bill of Rights and it legalizes the ownership of firearms so long as the arms are used for lawful purposes such as in self-defense (Sugarmann, 2011).

The NRA has been recently involved in various legislations. For instance, in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of United States, law enforcers were instructed to disarm the residents. The residents were supposed to surrender their firearms in order to be allowed into evacuation centers. The NRA, with the help of Second Amendment Foundation, filed a case against the order. The United States District Court in Louisiana barred any further confiscation of guns and ordered the return of all guns that had been previously confiscated.

In 2006, the NRA filed a motion against Mayor Ray Nagin who was then New Orleans mayor. This was due to the failure of the New Orleans police department and the city to comply with the ruling of the court. In the same year, the NRA supported Act 275, which prohibits the confiscation of firearms in states of emergency. The act was passed and signed by Kathleen Blanco who was then Louisiana’s Governor (National Rifle Association of America, 2010).

Recently, delegates from more than 200 countries assembled at United Nations in an attempt to come up with a treaty (Arms Trade Treaty) that would control international trade on weapons. However, the NRA sees this as a threat to the second amendment, which could result in prohibition of firearm ownership in United States. The NRA is planning to lobby the senate to reject approval if the president signs the treaty.

In conclusion, the National Rifle Association of America has realized various achievements since its foundation. In addition to its successful support of Act 275, the NRA has achieved a number of legislative victories. For instance, the lobby group played a big role in helping to overturn a ballot proposition, Proposition H, in San Francisco. Its involvement in political arena has also been successful. For instance, in November 2009, the NRA endorsed various candidates for the races. Bill Bolling was endorsed for lieutenant governor, Bob McDonnell for governor and Cuccinello for attorney general. All these three candidates were victorious in their respective races (Sugarmann, 2011). In addition, in 2008 national congressional races, 85% of those endorsed by the NRA were victorious. 

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