The NRA got their start as a civil rights organization fighting those laws.
The NRA was founded in 1871 after the Civil War by Army and Navy Journal editor William Conant Church (pictured above) and General George Wood Wingate of the Union Army, who were both dismayed at the horrible accuracy of Union soldiers during the Civil War. The original purpose of the organization was for rifle marksmanship training. However despite this, the NRA is the oldest civil rights organization in the United States. [emphasis mine]