The NRA could be winning its long game even as it appears to be in dire straits

(THE CONVERSATION) No observer of contemporary gun politics could fail to notice a jarring disconnect between the two very different trajectories of the gun rights movement today. On the one hand, more states are allowing Americans to carry weapons in public without permits, and the gun-rights movement could be on the verge of a major Supreme Court victory. On the other, the National Rifle Association, which advocates on behalf of gun owners, faces an existential crisis that’s mostly due to the NRA’s own missteps. As a political scientist who has studied gun politics and policy for over 30 years, I’m confident that there is no precedent for this contradictory situation. Moreover, there’s no reason to believe that the NRA’s problems will influence how the courts treat gun-rights cases. 2 very different lawsuits are pending The Supreme Court case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, challenges a state law that requires authorities to exercise discretion when issuing concealed-carry pistol permits. When justices heard oral arguments on Nov. 3, 2021, a majority of them appeared to be skeptical about the law’s constitutionality – despite the fact that it was first enacted in 1911 and has withstood legal challenges in the past. Meanwhile, as it marks the 150th anniversary of its 1871 founding, the NRA looks like an organization in jeopardy. Expensive and protracted litigation exposed a pattern of lavish perks for its top officials, including private jets, designer clothes and vacations at expensive resorts – as well as […]

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