The NRA was founded as a civil rights organization intended to help Black Americans arm themselves against the KKK, according to writer and conservative commentator Candace Owens.
Owens, who’s also the director of urban engagement for right-wing student movement Turning Point USA, made an appearance on “Fox & Friends” his week to defend the NRA amid fallout from the organization’s refusal to back sensible gun reform in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting.
Owens said she recently became a member of the NRA and touted herself as a “Black American who knows her history” in regards to the organization’s legacy with Black folks.
“I happen to fall into the window of people who knows my history,” she said. “I’m a Black American and I know that the NRA was started as a civil rights organization training Black Americas to arm themselves and defend themselves against the KKK. So it’s incredulous to me that they stand on that formula.”
Owens went on to accuse Democrats of “wiping away history and rewriting it.”
“So it’s very important Black Americans take a stand and defend the NRA in the same way that they’ve defended us,” she said.
Owens isn’t the first African-American to make his claim, however. In 2013, Harry Alford, then-president and CEO of the D.C.-based National Black Chamber of Commerce made the same assertion, thanking God for the “Constitution and the NRA for its legacy.”
“The National Rifle Association was started, founded by religious leaders who wanted to protect freed slaves from the Ku Klux Klan,” Alford said a a news conference were several Black leaders also spoke out against proposals for gun reform, according to Politifact.
The news site, which researches and debunks political claims, never found any evidence supporting Owens’ and Alford’s suggestion. he platform cited an excerpt from the NRA’s website about its founding, which explains the organization was started due to the poor marksmanship of union soldiers.
“Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871,” i reads. “The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.”
Though the NRA does tout itself as he nation’s oldest civil rights organization, there’s no mention of helping freed Blacks fight the KKK in its history.
“The claim is not only inaccurate but ridiculous — Pants on Fire,” Politifact wrote