Today was the inaugural meeting of the NRA Hunters' Leadership Forum, a collection of leaders from across the hunting world dedicated to the enrichment and growth of the NRA's mission to promote and defend hunting. The Forum's membership will bring together dedicated hunters who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their professions and in the field. Through the Forum's many events, it will provide leadership for its members to influence issues critical to the stewardship and perpetuation of our hunting heritage.
One of the NRA's five primary objectives is to promote hunter safety, and to promote and defend hunting as a shooting sport, and as a viable and necessary method of fostering conservation through the wise use of renewable wildlife resources.
The first order of business: Denote just how much the NRA does for hunters. The NRA-ILA fights for hunters every day at the international, national, state and local level. In fact the NRA-ILA has 17 full-time lobbyists and seven lobbyist specialists that represent hunters' interests in all 50 states. The NRA-ILA has an International Affairs Division at the United Nations solely dedicated to small arms and related issues affecting hunters and hunting worldwide. The NRA is the premier leader in hunter/shooting education. In 1949, for instance, the NRA developed the first national hunter safety course, and since 1985 the organization has trained more than 1.6 million young hunters through the Youth Hunter Education Challenge. The NRA's 114,000 certified marksmanship instructors annually train more than 750,000 beginners in the basic shooting skills necessary for hunting success. The NRA's Women on Target program has since 2000 conducted 3,155 instructional shooting clinics for 90,040 women, introducing them to the skills necessary to begin hunting. And the NRA's American Hunter is the largest-circulation, pure hunting magazine in the world, with more than a million readers.
The NRA Hunters' Leadership Forum will work to ensure every American knows this and more about what the NRA does to keep hunting free, safe, legal and thriving across the land, and thus keep hunters in the field.