There is just one problem with this group. It is run by antis. Just another tactic of the antis to divide gun owners. http://www.newwest.net/index.php/topic/ ... d/C41/L41/ NRA Competitor Gaining Ground By Bill Schneider, 6-17-07 Last year at the annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), I caused a little ripple in the Force when I reported on a news event sponsored by the American Hunters & Shooters Association (AHSA), a new group that bills itself as an alternative gun-rights organization with â€œa real agenda to preserve our Second Amendment.â€ By â€˜alternative,â€ the group means--and are not shy about saying it--they plan to compete head-on with the four-million-member National Rifle Association (NRA). You can review the articles, here and here, but in brief, the NRA does not welcome the competition, and some snipers sent in some pointy comments following the articles. Well, itâ€™s June again, and Iâ€™m back at OWAA, in Roanoke, Virginia, and on the second hectic day of the conference, I ran into the AHSA gang again and asked them how the battle was going. â€œWhen we went to OWAA last year,â€ AHSA executive director Bob Ricker answered, â€œwe had several articles come out, yours being the first, including one in New Republic.â€ After that, things started to happen for the new group, Ricker said. At that point, they had basically no members; now, they have â€œmore than 5,000.â€ And they might have made the difference in changing the color of the U.S. Senate. He explained that his group became â€œvery involvedâ€ in the Senate race where Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill barely defeated long-time Republican and NRA stalwart Jim Talent. That race, along with Jon Testerâ€™s squeaker over Conrad Burns in Montana and George Allenâ€™s surprise loss to James Webb in Virginia, tipped the Senate over to the Democrats and changed a lot of things in this country. â€œThe NRA was pissed,â€ Ricker said, â€œand they said we made the difference in Missouri.â€ In the race, McCaskill opposed a Bush Administration plan to sell off parts of the Mark Twain National Forest, and Talent supported it. The AHHA opposed the public land sales and supported McCaskillâ€™s position and appealed to hunters and gun owners to elect her to keep the Bush administration and the NRA from disposing of public lands valuable to hunting and other outdoor activities. The voters agreed, it seems, and the NRA ended up with another black eye. Later, in January, AHSA supported the effort led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was intended to keep illegal firearms away from criminals. The two groups faced off again on this issue, with the AHSA supporting the mayors and the NRA claiming it was â€œgun control.â€ The mayors are still working on the issue, but Ricker told me. â€œThis was not gun control. It was intended to stop criminals, and it had nothing to do with the Second Amendment.â€ The NRA, though, strongly disagrees, and has heavily criticized Bloomberg, a republican, for the effort. Not intimated by the Gun Giant, AHSA leaders took its message to St. Louis in April, and it was no accident that they set up their news conference in the hotel across the street from where the NRA was holding itâ€™s annual convention. â€œThe night before our news conference, Wayne LaPierre himself (NRA executive director) called our hotel manager and tried to get us thrown out, but he wouldnâ€™t do it.â€ Then, the next day the NRA showed up with a film crew at the AHSA press event, and the ASHA made the same mistake and tried to throw out the NRA. No blows were landed, though. Not yet. Stay tuned for more progress reports. And keep in mind that America has about 80 million gun owners, but only 4 million belong to the NRA, so it will be interesting to see if AHSA can actually develop itself as a true national alternative to the NRA--and provide the other 76 million gun owners a place to go.