The National Rifle Association has unveiled an extravagant museum in the American Midwest that has approximately 1,000 weapons, including those used by Napoleon Bonaparte and John Wayne, the cowboy movie hero, as well as subtly placed reminders of the movement for the right to bear arms. The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum is located in Springfield, Missouri, a politically conservative city in the centre of the United States that serves as a gateway to the hilly Ozarks region, which is popular with tourists and hunters.
The 7,500 square foot (697 square metre) museum contains elaborate dioramas and displays that were planned for ten years, according to NRA officials. Admission is free.
You will adore this location if you appreciate firearms. Jim Supica, the director of the museum, made every effort to market it as one of the world’s top museums dedicated to weapons.
These firearms originated from the NRA collection, which was amassed over 80 years, but many also came from unique collections that lacked a display space.
Following the shooting of elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, disagreements about gun regulation grew, and the museum opened. Congress had rejected President Barack Obama’s proposals to strengthen gun legislation, and the NRA has vehemently opposed such restrictions.
The museum prominently displays firearms used by historical figures, including a shotgun with engravings that Napoleon Bonaparte gave to a general in his army, guns belonging to Missouri-born Old West outlaw Jesse James, and firearms that tough guys John Wayne and Clint Eastwood used in Western movies.
President Theodore Roosevelt, a hunter and outdoor lover, is portrayed in one of the dioramas going on safari. In another, the early 1800s explorers Lewis and Clark are shown mapping the huge Louisiana Purchase from St. Louis to the Pacific Coast.
Supporting the Second Amendment
The NRA’s objective to protect the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which establishes the right to carry weapons, is included into the museum. A copy of the amendment’s language may be seen in the “Second Amendment” gallery.
The museum is marketed as illustrating themes of hunting, conservation, and independence. The museum, however, is not political. It recounts the development of firearms in America beginning with the 18th-century Revolutionary War against British control.
When approached for comment regarding the museum at the time the museum opened for business, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence—whose mission is to implement and enforce reasonable gun laws—did not reply to calls and emails.
After visiting the National Firearms Museum of the NRA in Fairfax, Virginia, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, who founded the hunting and fishing equipment industry in the early 1970s by manufacturing fishing lures, suggested the Missouri location.
One of the most popular tourist spots in the state is the Springfield Bass Pro shop, which receives around four million people a year.
Like other Bass Pro Shops around the nation, the Springfield location has stuffed and mounted animals in addition to fish and wildlife displays that mimic natural settings. The first location of the privately owned retail business is in Springfield.