The NRA, the nation’s leading Second Amendment group with 5.5 million members, is no longer pro-gun enough for some gun-rights supporters,The Wall Street Journal reports. Smaller organizations, often with Second Amendment positions more strident than the NRA’s, are seeking to capitalize on complaints that the NRA didn’t do enough to stop the ban on bump stocks, the devices that allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire rapidly enough to simulate fully automatic fire.
Since they were used in 2017’s Las Vegas massacre, the nation’s most deadly mass shooting on record, the Trump administration reversed past interpretations of existing law to find that it could ban the devices, and it did so in December. Gun Owners of America and Firearms Policy Coalition are fighting that decision in court. Other groups are using the controversy to recruit members and solicit donations. The NRA asked Congress to allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review the device as an alternative to stricter legislative actions. Trent Steidley, an assistant professor at University of Denver who has studied the gun-rights movement, said the smaller groups don’t have NRA’s clout in Washington. They exercise their power largely by putting pressure on the NRA, he said. The NRA is “more worried about being outflanked on the right than on the left,” Steidley told the Journal.