The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is an American nonprofit organization founded in 1871 that promotes the right of citizens to bear arms, as well as police training, firearm safety, marksmanship, hunting and self-defense training in the United States.
The NRA is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) and its lobbying branch is a 501(c)(4) organization.
The NRA has been criticized by gun control and gun rights advocacy groups, political commentators, and politicians. The organization has been the focus of intense criticism in the aftermath of high profile shootings, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA continues to teach firearm safety and competency. The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events. According to the NRA, membership surpassed 5 million in May 2013.