The National Rifle Association, or NRA, is a non-profit group for the promotion of marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection of hunting, self-defense, and firearm ownership rights in the United States, established in New York in 1871 as the American Rifle Association. It sponsors firearm safety training courses, as well as marksmanship events featuring shooting skills and sports. The NRA is sometimes said to be the single most powerful non-profit organization in the United States . It bases its political activity on the principle that gun ownership is a civil liberty protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and claims to be the oldest continuously operating civil liberties organization in the United States. According to its website, the NRA has "more than four million members."
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