Frequently Asked Questions
The American Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. represents a new-generation Social Network, supported by an advanced digital Educational and Informational Portal, created primarily to serve the millions of gun owners of America – but is also available to non-gun owners and media/journalists interested in firearms-related issues.
At its core R+P is an information technology new media company. The primary value proposition of our technology portfolio is intended to create a Deliberative Member Forum which will allow gun owners of all perspectives to openly and candidly share their views, for or against any relevant issue or topic, in a “Safe Harbor” atmosphere of civility and decorum (i.e. a most unique environment for the Internet).
Chiefly, to give the vast majority of voiceless gun owners a genuine voice with respect to firearms-related issues and topics; and to give the world unprecedented visibility and insight into the thoughts and perspectives of the overall firearms community (not just a vocal minority within it).
R+P was NOT created to promote a single ideology or political agenda. In fact, it is not a political organization of any kind, nor a trade lobby, and especially not the voice of the firearms industry – rather, it is meant to be a new media platform engineered to consolidate and amplify the cumulative voice of its membership, expressed publicly and civilly in a revolutionary new type of online public square. R+P’s core mission is to help foster, via deliberative dialogue, SANE™ gun ownership – which stands for Safety, Advocacy (of our members), Networking, and Education.
Absolutely not. SANE™ gun ownership (Safety, Advocacy, Networking, and Education) represents the concept of R+P members teaching and learning “Best Practices” with one another. What can a shooter learn to become a safer gun owner and better marksman? Garnering SANE™ knowledge for the gun owner is like a golfer going to the driving range and taking lessons from a golf pro. It’s about improving skills, gaining mastery and valuable expertise, and then sharing that knowledge with others.
No – especially if you understand that the often used phrase “gun control” most often refers to the ceaseless attempts by politicians and/or unelected regulators to pass “feel good” regulations and restrictions that only add inconvenience, burdensome costs, and potential legal risk to law abiding citizens while doing nothing practical and effective to address violent crime or gun-related tragedies.
Firearms Management is the phrase R+P uses to refer to those initiatives and programs individual communities employ to genuinely improve public safety while safeguarding its citizens’ Second Amendment rights. “One size fits all” solutions rarely have any demonstrable value. Each community has its own unique needs, risks, threats, and available resources to address those issues best. Thus, one of the key values of a nationwide networking forum for gun owners is for the citizens of communities who have discovered good and effective solutions to be able to share those solutions with similar citizens of communities who might be experiencing many of the same challenges.
We don’t have one, and never will. Although, our members are absolutely free to discuss and defend any proposal they wish, with no fear of reprisal, whereupon R+P will make public the cumulative sentiment of the membership on any and all topics.
It’s both. That is, R+P is actually comprised to two separate legal entities. The primary parent organization of R+P is a privately owned, for-profit, fully tax-paying, new startup business venture incorporated in the State of Texas. It has shareholders, a Board of Directors, and Executive Officers who direct and manage all of its business operations like any other commercial business entity.
In addition, R+P has also created a subsidiary organization called The American Rifle and Pistol Association Educational Foundation. Application to the IRS for its non-profit status is in process. Its mission, when fully operational and funded by the parent organization, is to sponsor educational initiatives for the benefit of gun owners, and also non-gun owners in an endeavor to encourage greater gun ownership, safety practices, and improvements to public safety. The R+P Educational Foundation is not a member-based organizational entity.
Yes. All are recreational shooters, some hunters, and most CCW holders.
Absolutely not. And anyone who contends otherwise is either grossly misinformed or deliberately lying.
After the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, many advocacy organizations came out and used that incident to play upon the sheer horror and emotional distress of a shocked nation to further their aims. Mayor Bloomberg and his group was one of these groups who did so, and subsequently garnered a lot of initial support from sympathetic people who held a sincere desire to “do anything” to try and prevent such terrible events from occurring in the future. However, many of those who were initially sympathetic soon discovered Mayor Bloomberg’s genuine anti-gun agenda and understandably distanced themselves from that group. Even one of our R+P board members had that experience.
Officially, R+P endorses no outside organizations or 3rd parties. Nor is R+P “anti” any outside organization. R+P endeavors to be “agnostic” in terms of political and ideological affiliation. R+P exists to provide a safe harbor deliberative member forum to openly, freely, and safely discuss any and all aspects of the firearms debate – regardless of the viewpoint of the member expressing his/her perspective.
From inception, R+P funding has come solely from the private resources of the company’s founders and Board of Directors. To date, R+P is not funded by, nor is it affiliated with, any other outside organization or group. It is a completely independent voice, not beholden to any 3rd party influence. From a purely cash-flow perspective, R+P will eventually be totally self-sufficient via its income derived from its member-based revenue streams.
However, as part of R+P’s accelerated growth and go-to-market strategy, specifically related to the deployment of its core technology infrastructure and custom software development, traditional private equity and/or institutional funding may be utilized. Nevertheless, R+P has no intention of accepting any funding or financing whatsoever from the firearms industry itself.
As fellow gun owners, R+P is strongly pro-gun. One of our mission objectives is to help increase gun ownership in America through education, training, and firearms familiarization designed not only to bolster self-defense and personal protection, but also to foster and revive the normalcy of firearms’ place in American culture and the enjoyment of them in recreational and sporting use.
However, being pro-gun does not preclude anyone with opposing views from being given the opportunity to make a sound argument (if they can) on behalf of their own individual beliefs. Although, such arguments will have to stand the test of reasoned rebuttal and debate, publicly and transparently.
But please note: R+P’s standards of civility precludes anyone in the R+P Safe Harbor Forum from engaging in cyber-bullying, virtual filibuster, or defamatory rhetoric intended to stifle anyone’s exercise of free speech. We don’t protect the Second Amendment by infringing on the First Amendment. If someone can’t win an argument on its merits, then perhaps their case is weak.
The founders and Board of Directors of R+P all come from commercial industry, and in particular, most of them from the Information Technology sector. They possess decades of entrepreneurial startup experience, and years of expertise in getting a variety of business ventures funded and successfully launched into targeted marketplaces.
The “secret sauce” of R+P is a ground-breaking new social networking architecture that leverages the very latest technologies in the fields of Business Intelligence, Data Analytics, Big Data, IT Security, and much more. As our capabilities are introduced, the full spectrum and value of R+P Social to the broader community of gun owners will become obvious. As fellow gun owners, it is therefore a very natural synergy for these technological milestones to be developed in the context of the firearms user community, where there is so much natural passion and messaging intensity available to tap into.
No. All members of R+P are members in a retail consumer context, no different from purchasing a membership at COSTCO, Gold’s Gym, Match.com, or being a member of Triple-A (AAA). Membership provides access to the services that R+P offers. Membership conveys no corporate voting rights reserved by law to the company’s stockholders and its Board of Directors. We hesitated to use the term “subscribers” instead of “members” because, even though R+P functions as a new media resource, “subscribers” denotes the idea of passive observer, while a “member” better reflects people who are afforded the opportunity to be an active participant in the formation of information.
All managerial roles and responsibilities of R+P are designated and filled by its Board of Directors, or other corporate officers as responsibilities for staffing may be officially authorized and delegated.
No. R+P is a privately held corporation. All internal corporate documentation, intellectual property, patents, trademarks, financial data, custom developed software, and production data is the proprietary property of R+P and lawfully deemed corporate confidential. Publicly filed documents required by law are available via the office of the Secretary of State of Texas. If non-profit status is granted for the R+P Educational Foundation, then it will be governed under a different set of audit and public reporting requirements, which shall be complied with in full.
R+P’s corporate counsel is Coplen & Banks, P.C., Houston, TX
R+P’s accounting firm is BDO USA, LLP
The NRA is a 100+ year old civil rights based gun lobby. R+P is a startup Social Network and Educational Portal.
Both organizations may offer a variety of informational services to gun owners, and some of those services may possibly overlap in the education and training area, but otherwise, they have absolutely distinct missions and focus. Think of the American Medical Association (AMA) and WebMD. They both may appeal to a common audience of practitioners and patients within the healthcare arena, but they are not direct competitors, just two distinctly different entities in a common field.
The NRA tends to focus a significant amount of their energies and resources on political and legislative issues. R+P doesn’t exist to lobby, promote any political party or candidates, nor engage in specific issue advocacy. Rather, R+P exists to provide a powerful communications platform for its membership so that their voice is able to influence public discourse and thus potentially help shape public policy.
It is estimated that there are upwards of 100 million lawful gun owners in the US. The NRA boasts a membership of approximately 5 million. Thus, over 90% of gun owners are not NRA members. R+P believes that many of those tens of millions of other gun owners may feel underrepresented or feel as though they have no voice at all in the national conversation on firearms. R+P seeks to give them an opportunity to be heard. Clearly, there is ample room in the gun owner community for more voices to join in the conversation.
Upon R+P’s corporate launch during the first week of July 2013, some media outlets and bloggers referred to us (some in the form of a question) as the “Anti-NRA” or “NRA Alternative.” R+P feels this type of rhetoric is an unfair and incorrect characterization of both R+P and the NRA. There is absolutely nothing precluding a gun owner from joining both organizations and deriving a benefit from them both.
First and foremost, R+P Advocacy means the voice of the membership (not the voice of the firearms industry). But that fact does not presume that R+P dictates what that voice has to say. R+P will seek to richly inform its members on any and all topics of interest to gun owners, and then the members themselves get to decide what their personal views are on these issues.
Secondly, as fellow gun owners ourselves, R+P does openly advocate, in very general and broad terms, for increased gun ownership and more lawful enjoyment of gun-related activities. R+P shall advocate for more CCW holders, which has a demonstrable correlation to the reduction in violent crime rates. R+P shall also relentlessly advocate for gun safety, and seek to offer the best educational tools available to its membership.
R+P is strongly in support of each American’s Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms (as was affirmed by the SCOTUS in Heller and McDonald). Moreover, R+P believes that the Second and Tenth Amendment make it clear that it is not the jurisdiction of the federal government to infringe upon the firearm rights of law abiding Americans – rather, it is the federal government’s job to ensure that the States do not violate its citizen’s constitutionally protected rights.
Nevertheless, at any level of government, it is a ludicrous position to assert that any concept whatsoever of codified “lawfulness” with respect to the use of firearms is synonymous with an “infringement of civil rights.” Where there is no law, that is called anarchy. Our Founders clearly established the fact that the US Constitution was NOT a suicide pact.
For example, if a state does not want its citizens discharging a firearm within a metropolitan area other than within a sanctioned sporting venue or in an act of self-defense, and passes a law to that effect – that is not tyranny. That’s called a good idea for public safety, and just about every municipality in the country has adopted that good idea, and the citizenry of the country overwhelmingly support it.
Can states go too far and overreach in an unconstitutional manner in defining lawful firearms use for their citizens? Of course. And that’s exactly why dialogue, debate and informing citizens is so important. Politicians can, and often do, pass bad laws all the time. But thankfully, informed citizens can get bad laws changed and/or bad politicians changed. R+P intends to make being informed much easier and more accurate than has ever been possible before. Our new blog technology soon to be announced coupled with powerful social analytics will create an influential forum for all gun owners.
The increase of CCW holders is one of the best ideas. It is one of the most demonstrably effective and proven factors in reducing crime rates. But, there are certainly many other ideas out there worthy of discussion and debate, such as looking at sentencing guidelines for violent criminals using guns, gang-related programs, drug-related violent crime programs, etc. Conversely, imposing more rigorous restrictions and regulations on law-abiding citizens has been continually proven to be one of the most ineffective ideas or approaches, yet it’s the one that is most often suggested and/or tried. As the old saying goes: if you have a problem with the lions eating the gazelles, the solution to the problem isn’t to saw the horns off of the gazelles. It’s time to invest more thought in dealing with the lions.
As R+P has used that expression – “illegal gun” – it is being used in the most generic sense. That is, no inanimate object in and of itself is either good or evil. This phrase refers to illegal human behavior in the context of guns. Basically, an “illegal gun” is any weapon in the hands of someone who isn’t legally allowed to have it. That can mean stolen guns, smuggled guns, carried guns without legal sanction, etc. The gun isn’t bad. But the person holding it might be behaving badly.
R+P doesn’t typically use the phrase “illegal guns”, per se, to refer to military-class weaponry outlawed from civilian use, e.g. grenade launchers, mortars, and such – although, that could be a valid use of the phrase. Even fully automatic weapons, sawed off shotguns, silencers, etc. can be legally owned, if the proper procurement laws are followed to obtain them. But if those laws aren’t followed properly, then those types of weapons in unlicensed hands represent illegal possession, thus technically making them “illegal guns.”
Furthermore, R+P does not believe that any inanimate weapon system should ever be declared “illegal” by the federal or state government simply based upon capricious and arbitrary factors such as purely cosmetic features, ammunition capacity, etc. A gun is a tool, just like a hammer is a tool. A hammer can be used to build homes or as a weapon. A nail gun can be used for the exact same purposes. Either is an instrument of whoever wields it, nothing more nor less.
Philosophically speaking, like the vast majority of gun owners, in principle, R+P strongly supports the idea of prohibiting as many criminals and mentally disturbed people from having firearms as is humanly possible. Logically, however, “universal” background checks are a physical impossibility, since illegal gun purchase transactions and stolen guns don’t ever involve background checks. Nevertheless, the devil is really in the details when it comes to exactly how the goal of performing proper background checks is accomplished.
The NICS system (national background insta-check system), i.e. a central database of “bad guys” is a pretty good idea in theory. On the positive side, this system is what made multi-day waiting periods obsolete, and thereby enabled lawful gun purchasers to “get approved” in seconds and leave the gun store with their brand new gun right away. On the negative side, the integrity of the information within the NICS system itself is highly questionable. That is, it’s not a terribly well-kept secret that much of the input to the NICS system is open to “falling through the cracks.” Therefore, a felon has a reasonable probability of purchasing any weapon he wants from a licensed firearms dealer and not being declined by a NICS background check. So if a background check system isn’t reliable, of what real value is it?
As a company, R+P takes no official position whatsoever on any specific piece of pending or enacted legislation. That isn’t the mission nor function of R+P. Individual members of R+P, which includes its leadership, may have deeply held personal opinions on any particular firearms related issue, and may even choose to express them as an individual, but those opinions never carry any more weight than that.
On the other hand, when the R+P membership speaks with one voice, it will be as a function of measured and analyzed topic trending, polls, surveys, and the like. For example, a poll might be taken regarding members’ attitudes toward an issue like the Brady bill, and if 60% of the membership is in favor of it and 40% against, or vice versa – that’s what R+P would publicly publish.
In general principle, per the Second and Tenth amendments, it isn’t the federal government’s prerogative to dictate unfunded mandates upon the states with regard to each American’s rights to keep and bear arms. If the federal government wishes to establish common standards for lawful firearm procurement and use for all states, then they should do it in the form of helping fund state programs, and then convincing the states in the merits of adopting those programs, with the state having the option to opt out should they not be persuaded in the value of the program for its citizens.
As to the merits of the Manchin-Toomey Bill itself, while R+P as a company takes no official position on any particular piece of legislation, one of the major points of contention within that bill is worthy of note. Specifically, an element of the bill deals with the establishment of a Federal Firearms Registry (despite protestations to the contrary), which is already illegal. R+P is adamantly opposed to the formation of any national registry of gun owners or weapons by the federal government.
R+P believes that firearms systems capabilities should be governed by the free marketplace. There is a reason why some tactical close quarters combat arms (a.k.a. “scary black rifles”) come standard with 30 round magazines and not 10 round magazines, nor 50 or 100 round magazines. Other sized magazines may be commercially available for a specific weapon, but the designers of these weapons, and more importantly, the professionals in law enforcement, security, competition marksmen, and those in the armed forces who regularly use them, choose to use those features for objective, scientific, logistical, and physiological reasons related to the observance of well-established Best Practices. Conversely, the government setting capricious limits on ammunition capacities is both illogical as well as demonstrably ineffective in addressing any gun-related issue or improving public safety.
Absolutely. In fact, members are free to join our member forum via an alias to protect their personal privacy. And the introduction of other capabilities in the upcoming months will augment the privacy and security of R+P.
In instances where a member of R+P Social is not interested in participating in a deliberative dialogue – rather, just the opposite, is there solely to shut down all dialogue and debate, through filibuster, ad hominem attacks, misinformation, distortion, slander, and whatever else they can think of to bully and shout down what they perceive to be their ideological enemies into silence, these posts will be removed and the member’s account locked.
The very idea of developing an online “safe harbor” for deliberative debate presupposes participants who possess the integrity and personal maturity to adhere to high standards of civil decorum. This in no way means that all must agree with one another. Just the opposite, in fact. Honest dissent is openly encouraged. Participants in the dialogue can, and surely will, hold a broad spectrum of viewpoints and opinions. But that doesn’t entitle anyone to employ inflammatory or defamatory rhetoric to intimidate or stifle anyone else’s views.
Said simply: If you can’t be persuasive in the arena of ideas with facts and reason, and all you can do is make noise – then participation is not allowed. Unfortunately, no matter how sincere the passion, the Second Amendment is not protected by infringing upon the First Amendment.
Our entire American philosophy is built upon the premise of America being a nation of laws, not men – i.e. the rule of law, not mob rule. Each of us acquits ourselves forthrightly and forges consensus as a civil society via a system of respectful order, not the sheer volume of rabble. This is the bedrock foundation of our adversarial judicial system, our fundamental two-party legislative process – and it shall be the hallmark tenor of R+P’s safe harbor forum.