We have taken some big strides across the US when it comes to restoring gun rights. However, we have also taken some big hits, particularly at the state level. The current administration is also slowly working on a number of important bills, such as national reciprocity, removing suppressors from the NFA, and others.

It is more important than ever to fight for our gun right, press our advantage in the House and Senate, while also growing the firearms community for the long term.

Here are some ways that everyone can help grow the firearms community and restore our gun rights.

1: Do research & vote during elections (especially local elections)

Voting is one of the fastest and most effectual ways to help enact positive change. The recent Presidential elections were close, and pro-gun advocates currently control a majority. But it is very likely there will be a swing back the other way this upcoming election.

But the way to be even more effective at enacting positive change with your ballot, is to participate at the local level. The city and county level often has very few voters, and those elections directly affect you and your community. Politics has a bit of a trickle up effect.

It is also important to not vote straight party lines. Perform research into the candidates and figure out what they support. It is common for politicians to join a party and not align entirely with their ideals.

Voting helps your community and this nation in ways that go beyond gun rights. It is our civic duty.

(In my opinion, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the state of politics in America)

2: Contact your representatives regularly

Simply voting in a desirable politician isn’t enough. These days, the feedback of citizens doesn’t carry as much weight as it should, but our opinion still can help enact change. Call your politician – don’t email, call. Tell them you are their constituent, your name, zip code, and tell them how you wish for them to vote and why. Calling a representative generally takes less than two minutes – and is how pro-gun laws have been passed.

Be kind and courteous. Remember, you’re on the phone with an aide who will write down your feedback and log it. Being rude will simply make them listen to you less. Being rude won’t change their mind. Being rude will hurt the movement you are trying to support. It is so very important to respect the person on the other end of the phone, even if you don’t like the actions of the politician you are contacting.

3: Donate to multiple pro-gun organizations

Being active in politics is almost a full time job. It is understandable if you’re too busy to keep up with the often fast paced environment and learn all of the intricacies of modern day politics. That is why we have pro-gun organizations made up of people who’s job is to keep up with all of it. Donating to these citizen funded pro-gun organizations afloat and active. Despite some of the controversies surrounding some of them, the 2nd Amendment would not exist without them. PLEASE join at least one, donating to multiple organizations is even better.

There are also many state oriented pro-gun organizations, helping fight at a more local level. It is definitely a good idea to be active at the state level, especially in battleground states like California.

4: Take your friends shooting

Politics can be a huge drag at times, there’s no denying that. Going shooting isn’t a drag though! Thanks to the entertainment industry and the media, there are many misconceptions about firearms out there. Often people are anti-gun simply because they believe lies about firearms.

Taking a first time shooter to the range is an excellent way to grow the firearms community and correct the misconceptions set by the anti-gunners.

5: Be a good representative for the firearms communities

How someone acts reflects on the community as a whole. America has a certain perception of gun owners, in particular, anti-gunners have a certain negative perception of gun owners. We can all make a difference and help change that perception by conducting ourselves well – in person, and online.

Don’t be rude, aggressive, obscene, or threatening towards other people simply because they believe differently than you do. Cursing someone out won’t turn an anti-gunner into a pro-gun advocate.

Remember, we’re all human.

6: Reach out to a pro-gun organization and ask how you can volunteer

This last item is definitely the most time intensive item on the list, so it isn’t for everyone. But, if you do want to up your game and become more involved in helping the pro-gun movement, reach out to a gun rights advocacy group and ask how you can volunteer with the movement. Much of the help needed isn’t glamorous, but it is a big help and someone needs to do it.

We’re all 2nd Amendment representatives

If we want our gun rights to survive, we must all conduct ourselves in a positive manner and we must all contribute to restoring our rights and training the next generation.

The future of the 2nd Amendment is in our hands.