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View Full Version : Advice for starting a gun rights group?


Swiss
10-09-2009, 11:52 AM
Can anyone with some experience (Bill, Gene, etc.?) give me some brief pointers on how to properly set up a gun rights group?

I've often thought about founding a marksmanship group here in the East Bay that has a primary function of educating people about firearm safety, gun facts, and meets periodically for informal matches at local ranges.

The group would also be politically active, stating its position on local and state gun rights issues, possibly distributing flyers, and attending community events. The overall goal is to offer intelligent, friendly, low key, non-partisan advocacy for 2A issues. The group would also be very active in non-2A community building activities to help put gun owners in a better light.

Ideally the group would be a non-profit in order to maximize fund raising. The name would be something vague and non-polarizing, something like "Bay Area Citizens For Common Sense Gun Legislation". "Bay Area Patriots" just won't attract the same number of people.

When legislation is discussed at local and state levels, having more organized groups besides the NRA and CalGuns voicing their opposition to gun control efforts would be beneficial to us all. And we can put direct pressure on some of the most liberal legislators in the state (Hancock, Leno, etc.) since we are their constituents.

Let me know what you think.

WokMaster1
10-09-2009, 12:01 PM
Fly the Swiss flag.....:D

So many good things about the Swiss that everyone loves.
Chocolates, beer, marksmanship, secret bank accounts, Riccola, beer, yodelling, cheese, etc

bwiese
10-09-2009, 12:08 PM
I would suggest that instead of branching out on your own, you affiliate with a range, get them integrated into CRPA and use that to develop instead of starting from scratch. Taking what's there and building up is generally always a good thing.

Calguns as a gunrights group happened a bit sideways and a bit by accident. It turned from discussion to structured action. We made some mistakes, learned from them, coordinated with others.

jdberger
10-09-2009, 12:10 PM
Talk to Oaklander...he's already on the ball.

wildhawker
10-09-2009, 12:31 PM
I'll try to save space and suggest you consider Bill's sage advice.

An informal group is one thing; a full-fledged 501(c)x is another (likely c4 if you're planning on being highly involved in the political arena). Ultimately, RKBA in CA will be best-served by all of us utilizing the existing structures available to us and leveraging their built-in resources. Getting a range under the CRPA/NRA umbrella and using that as a platform to increase awareness, etc. is a fantastic approach. Many of the concepts you proposed are parallel or nearly so to the CRPA's or Calguns' outreach and activism program; out of curiosity, would you elaborate as to why you're considering the creation of another org to serve the purpose? I'm very interested in your thoughts on this.

Can anyone with some experience (Bill, Gene, etc.?) give me some brief pointers on how to properly set up a gun rights group?

I've often thought about founding a marksmanship group here in the East Bay that has a primary function of educating people about firearm safety, gun facts, and meets periodically for informal matches at local ranges.

The group would also be politically active, stating its position on local and state gun rights issues, possibly distributing flyers, and attending community events. The overall goal is to offer intelligent, friendly, low key, non-partisan advocacy for 2A issues. The group would also be very active in non-2A community building activities to help put gun owners in a better light.

Ideally the group would be a non-profit in order to maximize fund raising. The name would be something vague and non-polarizing, something like "Bay Area Citizens For Common Sense Gun Legislation". "Bay Area Patriots" just won't attract the same number of people.

When legislation is discussed at local and state levels, having more organized groups besides the NRA and CalGuns voicing their opposition to gun control efforts would be beneficial to us all. And we can put direct pressure on some of the most liberal legislators in the state (Hancock, Leno, etc.) since we are their constituents.

Let me know what you think.

Swiss
10-09-2009, 12:49 PM
I'm already pretty involved in my community and believe that, for local impact, a local, grass-roots group of residents will be more active, and better accepted, than members of a state-wide group such as the CRPA.

There's no reason members of the group can't be CRPA and NRA members - I am one myself.


I'll try to save space and suggest you consider Bill's sage advice.

An informal group is one thing; a full-fledged 501(c)x is another (likely c4 if you're planning on being highly involved in the political arena). Ultimately, RKBA in CA will be best-served by all of us utilizing the existing structures available to us and leveraging their built-in resources. Getting a range under the CRPA/NRA umbrella and using that as a platform to increase awareness, etc. is a fantastic approach. Many of the concepts you proposed are parallel or nearly so to the CRPA's or Calguns' outreach and activism program; out of curiosity, would you elaborate as to why you're considering the creation of another org to serve the purpose? I'm very interested in your thoughts on this.

bsim
10-09-2009, 1:03 PM
Whatever you do, don't call it a "gun rights" orgnization. Call it something like Kittyies and Puppies Against Victimization".

Even dems don't hate kitties, puppies, and victims.

Swiss
10-09-2009, 1:04 PM
See the OP.

Whatever you do, don't call it a "gun rights" orgnization. Call it something like Kittyies and Puppies Against Victimization".

Even dems don't hate kitties, puppies, and victims.

oaklander
10-09-2009, 1:06 PM
I have about 55 people who have indicated to me that they would like to join an informal group in the East Bay.

See:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=214378

Our goal isn't to be political though, but rather just to have BBQ's and go to the range now and then. Our name is the East Bay Riflemen. EBR for short.

I've been a little swamped the last couple of weeks, but I will be contacting everyone soon to get this moving. . .

Re: your original idea of a political group - I think working within the existing structure of the CRPA and/or MRA M/Cs is the way to go, as Bill pointed out.

Swiss
10-09-2009, 1:20 PM
Thanks. Does CRPA have local chapters like the NRA MCs?

dirtnap
10-09-2009, 1:23 PM
try meetup.com, I started a similar club here in San Diego. So far we have 20+ members and are having our first meet this Saturday at a local range. I only have about 10 RSVP's for the meet, but it's a start.