Sturm, Ruger announced this week that they intend to carve a $2 bill (so to speak) out of every new gun sale of a Ruger firearm and combine pledge it to support the National Rifle Association.
Bill Ruger was an patriot and you don't have to look any further than his Bicentennial series guns in 1976, and his move to bring back classic American military designs like the Colt Single Action Army (as the Blackhawk), M-1 Carbine/Garand/M-14 (as the Mini-14), and Remington New Army (as the Ruger Old Army) to quickly grasp that.
Many don't know that his first firearm design actually wasn't the Ruger Standard .22LR pistol, but actually, the experimental T10/T23E1 light machine gun developed for the US Army.
Heck, even Ruger co-founder Alexander "Alex" McCormick Sturm was as true-blue as they come, serving in the OSS during World War II (the guys who parachuted behind enemy lines in Nazi-held Europe and recruited guerilla armies to fight in Hitler's rear).
Therefore, with this bar of patriotism and freedom set high by the founders, you would expect the current company to keep the tradition alive.
The original challenge
That's one of the reasons why Ruger in 2011 came up with the "1 Million Gun Challenge" to benefit the NRA. At the time, the concept was simple. They pledged to donate $1 for each new Ruger firearm sold between the 2011 and 2012 NRA Annual Meetings, with the goal of giving a cool million to the gun rights organization founded in 1871.
In fact, the company sold more than 1.2 million guns and in turn passed on several checks over the original goal:
Specifically, the funds went to the group's Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), the lobbying arm of the NRA which leads the fight nationally to help derail anti-gun legislation and both craft and support that which is seen as pro-gun to help support the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. You can see the ILA at work each year at the group's annual meetings where they highlight pro-gun leaders. This year in Nashville, the lineup ranged from George Huckabee to Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham.
Further, the ILA grades politicians every year so that voters can be informed where both incumbents and new candidates stand on gun rights.
Now, on the cusp of a historic 2016 election cycle, which has control of the White House, Congress, and nearly a third of the governor's mansions up for grabs, Ruger is doubling down.
The 2 (or 3) Million-Gun Challenge
"We're bringing back the One Million Gun Challenge with a twist," said Ruger CEO Mike Fifer in a statement obtained by Ruger Talk. "Our goal is to sell two million firearms between the 2015 and 2016 NRA Annual Meetings. With that, we pledge to donate not one, but two dollars to the NRA for every new firearm sold during that time. We accomplished our goals to support the NRA in 2012, and with the help of our loyal customers, we believe we can do it again."
Just as in the last challenge, but doubled, the company has pledged to donate $2 to the NRA for each new Ruger firearm sold between the 2015 and 2016 NRA Annual Meetings, with the goal of dropping $4 million in the group's coffers. As in 2012, Ruger's donation will again benefit the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA).
Further, Davidson's, Ruger's largest distributor, has pledged to match those funds on a $1 for $2 level (hey, they don't make the guns, they just sell them!).
"I am happy to announce that Davidson's will contribute an additional $1 to the $2 contributed by Ruger for each Ruger firearm that Davidson's sells over the next year," Davidson's CEO Bryan Tucker told American Rifleman as he called upon FFL's inside their own network to step up as well by saying, "I would also encourage all Ruger firearms distributors to support Ruger's generous donation with one of their own."
To track the progress of the initiative, visit Ruger.com/2Million.
Moreover, even if you don't buy a new Ruger this year, be sure to get out and not only register to vote, but make an effort to get to the polls. In the words of the great diplomat Edmund Burke, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."