NRA Celebrates 150th Anniversary in 2021

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posted on January 4, 2021
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Founded in 1871 by Civil War veterans, the National Rifle Association has led the way ever since to protect our Second Amendment freedom, teach marksmanship and gun safety and pass self-defense laws across the country. In 2021, the NRA celebrates a momentous 150 years of service as America’s oldest civil-rights organization.

“The NRA has diligently protected our right to keep and bear arms longer than any other organization,” NRA President Carolyn Meadows said. “We are humbled to serve our more than 5 million members and all law-abiding gun owners. We invite you to join our organization as we celebrate this historic milestone.”

Throughout its century and a half of existence, NRA has served firearm owners across the nation through training, legislative action and other initiatives aimed at promoting avenues for shooting, hunting and personal protection. Today, the organization encompasses a wide range of programs all aimed at bettering the experience of the American firearm owner, whether it’s through competitive programs, hunter education, political action and more.


“Our Founding Fathers knew the value of all our freedoms and what it takes to defend those freedoms, and that’s why we have the Second Amendment,” said Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president. “The NRA has always been the refuge of Americans who recognize how important it is to preserve the right to keep and bear arms, to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones, and to hunt, and we’re celebrating 150 years of our commitment to protect those sacred and noble rights.”

To mark the occasion, the NRA is highlighting its history in all four of its Official Journals: American Rifleman, American Hunter, America’s 1st Freedom and Shooting Illustrated. Each issue throughout 2021 features dedicated columns entitled “Milestones: NRA150” that spotlight significant events and leaders that shaped the organization and its mission.


“Our magazines have always been the conduit through which we reach our members, now 5 million strong,” said Doug Hamlin, executive director of NRA Publications. “Through these monthly magazines, our dedicated supporters have a chance to fully understand and appreciate the importance of this great organization. There’s never been a better time—or a more important time—to be an NRA member.”

In addition, the NRA will be publishing a showpiece, coffee-table-type book, “NRA—150 Years Strong,” in September 2021. This colorful retrospective takes a fresh look at the key events and achievements that have made the organization’s 150-year run such an indelible part of American history. Across 160 pages divided into seven themed chapters, this keepsake chronology will examine the turning points, personalities and anecdotes that defined the NRA’s critical role in defending the freedom that makes our nation the greatest ever conceived.


More than 425,000 hardbound and digital copies will be distributed to new NRA members and subscribers across the entire NRA Publications digital network. In addition, copies of the book will also be offered for sale at the NRA Store, NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits and the Great American Outdoor Show.

To take part in NRA’s 150th anniversary celebrations, be sure to sign up for a membership today at NRA.org or call 1-866-672-2020. You’ll have the pride of knowing that you’re one of more than 5 million members who’ve pledged to support and defend the Second Amendment.

Advertising slots in “NRA—150 Years Strong” remain available, with custom ad units and section sponsorships open for interested manufacturers. Orders close April 30, 2021.

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