Gun and Garden Denying NRA Ads?

I have no patience for people who enjoy rights that they leave to others to defend and promote, and this would seem to be the demographic “Gun and Garden” magazine is aiming for. I have no issue with the magazine not accepting political ads, but NRA does more than just politics. When I contacted someone at NRA to inquire about the nature of the ad, I was told it was an “NRA Give” ad, which solicits funds for the Foundation. The NRA Foundation funds educational and shooting sport programs and not political activity. For a gun magazine, even a lifestyle magazine, this should not be controversial. There are more ways to contribute to this issue than just politics, and it’s appalling to me that Gun and Garden doesn’t seem to want to give the time to day to those efforts either.

25 thoughts on “Gun and Garden Denying NRA Ads?”

  1. That’s really disappointing. If I recall correctly, I did an interview with the editor of Gun & Garden when they first launched. Guess they didn’t mind the free advertising that NRA News was able to give them… yet they don’t want to accept a paid advertisement for the Foundation?

  2. I wouldn’t run an ad for the NRA soliciting funds if it was my magazine either. The vast majority of mailings and contact I have received from the NRA lately have been “give us money, give us money, give us money” and NOTHING else. They have spent far more than my basic membership fee would cover soliciting me for cash.

    On top of that, the mailings about recent court victories makes no mention of the who was actually responsible for all the leg work to get the case to the Supremes in the first place; and the work of the NRA to attempt to torpedo those cases when they got nervous about the odds of winning.

    Couple this with the dishonest (at best, mail-fraud at worst) video sales campaign (and extreme apathy of the NRA desk clerk when I called to complain), and I have had enough. I have been an NRA member for 11 years. When my membership comes up for renewal this year, I am going to pass. It has become clear to me that the NRA is indeed a single issue organisation, and that issue is getting cash out of my wallet.

    1. If you’re calling and not getting results, my first question would be to ask which division you’re calling. It doesn’t sound like the right one to address your actual concerns.

  3. Take a look at their Form 990s if you want to see how NRA spends money. Most of the money they are raising is to fund programs, which cost more than your membership fees. A surprising amount of your membership fee actually goes into sending you the magazine.

    Every advocacy group begs for money. NRA is hardly alone in this.

  4. They have asked for money for a long time. Recently the way they are asking makes me question the ethics of the person doing the asking. As my primary interaction with the NRA is receiving these questionable money requests, most of what I they send me shows me a group I would prefer not to support or be associated with.

    Honestly, it was the video crap and “late notices” that came after, even when I called and was told there would be no more, that pushed my patience over the edge. Whoever the jackass was that came up with that idea made sure the NRA lost what was left of my support.

  5. I published criticism of that ad campaign as well. AFAIK they haven’t done it again. I agree it was over the line, however. What I don’t agree with is that it’s a reason to quit NRA.

  6. I appreciated the post on the video antics. They may not have done it again, but it was 2-3 months between your post and when that project made it to my door, so at the least they did not stop a program in progress.

    I saw a pattern of unethical behavior. I called the member center to follow up on my concerns. Nobody I talked to there was able to answer my questions, or seemed to be particularly concerned.

    If all my membership dollars do is get me on a junk-mail list, they can be much better used elsewhere.

  7. 1-800-672-3888 was the first number I called.

    I was transfered a couple times, and talked to 3 people. One of them told me what a great program the video thing was and how it was a great fund raising program for the organisation. He saw how “some people may not be interested” in the DVDs, but saw no problem with how they were being marketed.

    I would much rather support a group that teaches gun/hunter safety, and puts on a match every month; than the group that flirts with mail fraud to get into my wallet.

  8. While I was a SAF member, I got remarkably little junk mail from them asking for money. Perhaps a fluke?

    Actually, thanks for the reminder. I need to re-up with them.

    Talking to the NRA guy, I was told 2 other things:

    I (guy on phone) will contact the company that does the DVD stuff and tell them to take you off the list. (I got another “late notice” 2 weeks later, but nothing since)

    I (guy on phone) will take your name and address off the marketing mailing list, so I would not get crap like that again.

    I still get the “renew now, your membership only has 7 months left!!” stuff, but not much of the other “buy crap to support the NRA” stuff.

    If it was just a junk mail thing, I can throw that out after I read it. It was the ethics behind the decision of what type of junk mail to send out that really turned me off to the NRA recently.

  9. Gun & Garden are the bad guys here, and the NRA did absolutely nothing to deserve this.

    Uh-huh. Sure.

    I won’t repeat what has been said above in the earlier comments, but don’t you feel even a slight glimmer to perhaps sorta rethink your seemingly knee-jerk support of these guys?

    The “800 pound gorilla” in the room has become obese and lethargic. And when it bothers to bestir itself, it will just as often try to derail a lawsuit because the plaintiffs aren’t ‘perfect’ enough, will barge into someone else’s time before the Supreme Court, give an inexplicably high rating to a politician who in no way merits it, as it will do something actually useful for the advocacy of the Second Amendment.

    The monkey needs to go on a diet, at least until it remembers who gives them a reason for their current existence: us gun owners.

  10. As I said, look at their form 990s. Most of the people who criticize have never even looked at NRA’s form 990s, then compared them to other groups. Most of the criticism is, in fact, pulled from people’s asses.

    Not the video bullshit though. That is legit. But not a reason to quit. Let them know you hate it and move on… and don’t vote for Board Members who are passive and let staff just do whatever the hell they want.

  11. Thanks for publishing this.
    I actually subscribed to and enjoyed that mag, so I wrote them that their actions were infuriating.
    There will always be NRA bashers–often for trivial reasons (see above) and occasionally for sinister purposes.
    The true measure of NRA actions can be seen in their membership numbers, not by anonymous Internet postings!

  12. I love the mag, and support their reasoning, but think in this case their underlying concern is misplaced. That, I suspect, is more a communication problem on the NRA’s part – they need to do a better job (other than referring people to their 990s) of communicating what their mission is and what the mission of their different sections and partnerships and programs and subsidiaries are.

    In this case, I suspect that wasn’t made very clear to the Garden and Gun folks (it really is an outstanding magazine).

  13. Sadly, the 990 is about the only place you can see what the NRA does for/with local groups without being a member of each group on the receiving end.

    Back to your original post, do you know of a copy of the NRA’s rejected ad that can be viewed?

  14. The full story and ad we tried to place can be found here: Also, the web site for this particular campaign is at The campaign is oriented towards major gift fundraising and planned gifts (usually to benefit the NRA Foundation, Civil Rights Foundation, or NRA Freedom Action Foundation — all 501c3’s) and is currently running in magazines like Gray’s Sporting Journal, Sporting Classics, and Texas Monthly.

    Ben (or anyone else), please email me your NRA member number and I will personally check into your request to make the mailings stop.

    Meg Guegan
    Director of Advancement Communications
    National Rifle Association

  15. I got the NRA to stop sending me junk mail just by calling their membership account information number on my card: 887-NRA-2000.

    I haven’t gotten one solication from them since calling. I suggest anyone else do the same.

  16. I think when I get old enough to join such things, I’ll be joining the NRA for the instruction and competition, and the SAF for the political activism.

    It has been my realization in the last little while that most of the complaints about the NRA stem from the fact that it was never founded to be a political activist organization. The NRA has only taken up that mantle in the last few decades, because at the time there wasn’t anyone doing it. Of course, most of the clear attacks to the Second Amendment has only been in the last few decades, and during the time, it seemed practical–even reasonable–to allow “a little bit” of gun control, to stem the tide.

    Now it’s clear that gun “control” doesn’t work, and that freedom does…but the NRA still has to deal with the “let’s compromise” legacy that it adopted when gun control first became an issue.

  17. Alpheus,
    The NRA, if nothing else, is a “political activist” organization.
    I don’t know where you live, but in my state (Pennsylvania) it has a real presence.
    Our gun laws are some of the best in the country and this did not just happen all by itself.

  18. @Sebastian: When I said “old enough”, I really meant “When I can afford such things”. Except for the fact that I’m rather tired, I have no idea why the heck I would switch the two concepts!

    @Mocha: It’s very clear that the NRA has been able to join the fray as a “political activist” organization. But it was originally founded by Civil War generals who were dismayed by the fact that the Southerners could consistently out-shoot the Northerners. While it did have certain political aspects to it, even in its origins (some of the first Southern NRA chapters were founded by freed blacks), this was the main reason why the NRA was founded.

    To this day, training is a major focus of what the NRA does! Indeed, it only entered into the political fray because of the War Against Guns.

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