As it has ramped up its influence activity in Washington, the GOA also touts its member chapters and allies including the California Gun Rights Foundation and other ones in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Nationally the GOA and its chapters have flexed their lobbying and legal muscles in some significant fights in several states. For instance, in New Mexico the GOA has claimed success in obtaining a temporary restraining order against new gun curbs in Albuquerque.
On the legal front, the GOA has also filed amicus briefs – with help from the conservative lawyer William Olson, who put forward some aggressive schemes to Donald Trump in late 2020 as he sought to overturn his election defeat – in at least two major cases pending at the supreme court where the GOA is seeking to thwart existing and new gun regulations. This month the court heard arguments in US vs Rahimi that could overturn a 30-year-old ban on guns for individuals under domestic violence restraining orders.
Gun experts say the GOA has long tried to outflank the NRA on the right as the most implacable opponent of gun control measures, and now sees an opening to expand its influence in federal and state battles over gun control. …
Some ex-NRA officials downplay the influence of the GOA and other pro-gun groups in the wake of the NRA’s problems.
“The void created by the self-inflicted and fatal chaos that is the current NRA is being filled by numerous other pro-gun organizations,” a former NRA executive said, adding that this situation “is more of a reflection on the demise of the NRA, than the effectiveness of other organizations”.
Another ex-NRA honcho quipped: “GOA’s rise corresponds to when the NRA started going down the crapper.”
Assessing the GOA’s impact and expanded lobbying efforts, the Violence Policy Center’s Rand stressed: “As the NRA has lost its footing, its more extreme members have embraced GOA. The group’s expanding influence can only drive pro-gun positions on legislation even further to the right.”