People Keep Mistaking the National Restaurant Association for the NRA

Imagine thinking you were going to a convention for AR-15 enthusiasts and instead walking into a room full of burger innovations.

Mar 7 2018, 11:05pm

Photo via Flickr user joshlopezphoto

“At the NRA, we believe that there is strength in numbers,” the organization writes on its About Us page. “And that means our shared spirit of hospitality, passion for serving others and belief in the American entrepreneurial dream will be safeguarded and advanced.” If that sounds uncharacteristically moderate and less Americuhh than you were expecting, it’s because this NRA isn’t that NRA. The National Restaurant Association is more concerned with, say, the future of food safety than it is with passing out firearms to lunch ladies, but that hasn’t stopped some social media users from getting the two confused.

According to CNBC, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) had to explain on Twitter that no, she did not receive a $50 donation from the National Rifle Association, but she did get one slick Ulysses S. Grant from an employee of the National Restaurant Association. She then included a link to, which maintains a list of the members of Congress who really did receive monetary gifts from the other, shootier NRA. (Duckworth has been an outspoken advocate of gun-control legislation and has a rating of 7 percent from the National Rifle Association; by contrast, pro-gun senators like Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have 100 percent ratings, according to VoteSmart).

“The senator was never confused about which organization supported her,” a spokesperson for Duckworth told the news outlet. Maybe not, but some other people were.

"Every once in a while this happens," a National Restaurant Association spokesperson told CNBC. That’s not to say that this NRA is completely blameless: it has a tendency to oppose things like increases to the minimum wage, pay increases for workers who receive tips (read: restaurant workers), and increased numbers of sick days, and it has actively campaigned against legislation to lower the legal blood alcohol content for drivers.

Mollie O'Dell, spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association, told MUNCHIES, "This confusion does not happen often."

Regardless, the annual NRA Show will be held in Chicago in mid-May and we’re admittedly excited at the prospect of AR-15 advocates buying tickets, laminating their concealed carry permits and putting on their finest shoulder holsters, only to find three straight days of pasta-making demonstrations. Please let this happen.