One way the National Rifle Association gains members is by helping local gun clubs and shooting ranges. It doles out goods and grants to these groups if all their members join the NRA. Reuters political correspondent Andy Sullivan travels to the Spurwink Rod and Gun Club in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, to learn more.
The -- -- rod and gun club is a small shooting range in Cape Elizabeth Maine that they can tell us a lot about how the National Rifle Association grows its membership. So people think -- and areas -- aggressive they're all called lobbying organization for this this whole other side to what they do a lot less attention. They run marksmanship Truman's. They do firearms safety classes. And they provide a lot of financial support to shooting -- both private and public. Not any organization can sort of become an affiliate of the generate 35 bucks here. And that gets them things like you know discounts on credit card process now I visited sperling club and it's a pretty modest operation. And they were shooting ranges well and they've been working hard to upgraded over the past few years and that requires money. They've raised their dues they've been holding fundraisers and raffles and stuff but they're very very conscious of the fact that they could it help them so there's a benefit for the club itself to be affiliated with the underage -- the NRA encourages clubs to take a step farther and get all the members signed up as individual members as well. That if you're a 100% -- -- -- -- college. -- sort of go to the front of the line for the grants they can and every year you know races it's given out more than eleven million dollars in grants to public and -- -- since 194. So the club members had wanted to affiliate with the -- for several years they told everybody beginning of 2012. Are you gonna have to join me underage if you wanna stay involved in this thing. About a dozen people quit. And he said you know we don't like what they do politically year I don't like people what to do or just the Yankees won in mind it. But significantly had about fifty members are so -- are also enough. So the NRA got fifteen members people who wouldn't sign up otherwise and the club meanwhile it is eligibility for these -- This is really important to the NRA as its gearing up to oppose new proposed gun restrictions in Washington. They love to talk about how many members they had we not hear senator recent congressional hearing that they represent. More than four point five million active members that's sort of -- of universe maybe 8200. Million US gun owners. The NRA wouldn't tell me how many of these private -- required for it. So it's not really clear how much of a benefit that this is that how many members of joining -- because they really like that you know is doing. And how many attorneys because well like. This in my guns so here's.