Charlton Heston

Born in a tiny northern Michigan town, Charlton Heston would become one of Hollywood's biggest stars. As an actor, he was best known for his roles in "Ben Hur," "Planet of the Apes" and "The Ten Commandments," but he also gained household recognition as the president of the NRA. He took the seat in 1998 and stayed until Kayne Robinson succeeded him in 2003. To date, he is the only three-term president the organization has ever had.

Mission of the NRA

As you've already read, protecting the Second Amendment is a priority for the NR­A. The government is feeling a lot of pressure from anti-gun organizations and constituents, so the NRA has taken on an active role in securing the right to bear arms for American citizens. But it hasn't forgotten why the group was founded.

­According to the NRA, the group still aims to promote shooting sports and provide the necessary education. It has branched out to younger children with the mascot "Eagle Eddie," who instills children with the idea that guns are a right and an everyday object.

As a part of the NRA's lobbying to protect the Second Amendment, it asserts a strong belief in safety. The organization supports tough punishment for gun-related crimes -- but the NRA urges the government, courts and people to blame the person, not the weapon.

In an effort to raise tax-exempt money to support firearm-related public interest groups, the NRA started the NRA Foundation. The mission statement of the foundation lays out its intent to defend the Second Amendment, promote firearm and hunting safety, enhance marksmanship in shooting sports, and educate citizens on firearms in the contexts of history, technology and art [source: NRAFoundation].

Interested in joining or learning more information about the NRA application process? Check out the next page.