Why I’m Keeping My NFA Membership. For Now.

The closest I’ve come to cancelling my membership in Canada’s National Firearms Association was today, after watching a video clip from this weekend’s annual general meeting of members.

I wasn’t at the meeting, and I’m trusting that the video is authentic. It was posted on YouTube by Shawn Bevins, former executive vice president of the Edmonton-based NFA.

The video shows an out-of-control meeting with members and leaders shouting back and forth at each other for more than 9 minutes. It isn’t a proud moment for the Canadian firearms community.

Respectful disagreement is important, and volunteer leaders aren’t always experts on rules and procedures.

But this meeting was chaotic and unprofessional. I don’t want to be part of an association that operates this way. The NFA doesn’t represent me. It has lost its credibility.

The NFA is struggling with its operations, finances and effectiveness. Some board members alleging improper management have gone to court. The organization got only about 60,000 signatures of the 400,000 it wanted on two petitions this year, even after extending the deadline. After a five-month online fundraising drive, the NFA has raised less than a third of the $40,000 it needs to improve its website.

I didn’t know any of the problems when I joined in December. I was excited to support an organization dedicated to freedom, self-defence and better firearms laws.

As poorly run and ineffective as the NFA may be, I’ve decided to retain my membership. For now.

The NFA is one of the only organizations I know of that fights for the rights of Canadian firearm owners.

I’m hoping for a turnaround.

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