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Firearms and gun ownership have long been political issues across the United States. In the western states, guns are often seen as a part of the culture, with a heritage that goes back to the days of the Wild West. Gun ownership in the West spans the political spectrum; both liberal and conservative politicians own guns and consider themselves Second Amendment advocates. According to groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA)—the largest gun rights lobbying group in the United States—the federal government is consistently attempting to place limits on the constitutional right to bear arms. The stereotypical gun owners of the West—the miners, trappers, homesteaders, and ranchers defending their property from lawless elements—are largely gone, but many westerners still value guns for hunting, protection, collection, ...

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