The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying arm of the NRA. Established in 1975, ILA is committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
ILA’s ability to fight successfully for the rights of America’s law-abiding gun owners directly reflects the support of NRA’s nearly 5 million members—a number that has more than tripled since 1978. When restrictive “gun control” legislation is proposed at the local, state or federal level, NRA members and supporters are alerted and respond with individual letters, faxes, e-mails and calls to their elected representatives to make their views known.
In 1986, the NRA and millions of gun owners nationwide applauded as the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. ILA worked for more than a decade to secure passage of that historic legislation to reform the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Combined with the strong grassroots efforts of NRA members and NRA-affiliated state associations and local gun clubs, the Institute has worked vigorously to pass pro-gun reform legislation at the state level.
These efforts include enacting laws that recognize the right of honest citizens to carry firearms for self-protection; preemption bills to prevent attacks on gun owner rights by local anti-gun politicians, and fighting for legislation to prevent the bankrupting of America’s firearms industry through reckless lawsuits.
The Institute is also involved in educating the public about the facts concerning the many facets of firearms ownership in America. Through the distribution of millions of printed fact sheets, brochures and articles annually and the posting information and the latest news daily on its Internet site (www.nraila.org), the Institute provides facts about responsible firearms ownership, the Second Amendment and other topics.
In NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va., and in offices in Washington, D.C., and in Sacramento, Calif., the Institute employs a staff of more than 80, with a team of full-time lobbyists defending Second Amendment issues on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures and in local government bodies.
While NRA is a single-issue organization, the Institute is involved in any issue that directly or indirectly affects firearms ownership and use. These involve such topics as hunting and access to hunting lands, wilderness and wildlife conservation, civilian marksmanship training and ranges for public use, law enforcement-related issues, product liability, trapping, crime victim rights and criminal justice reform.