It appears Rotary International, the service organization made up of 35,000-plus clubs across the globe and over 1.2 million members, is attempting to quietly distance itself from the firearms industry.
At the start of the new year, the foundation instated new rules prohibiting its clubs from accepting sponsorships from, or co-branding with, firearms or weapons companies.
Clubs were also warned against hosting gun shows, gun sporting events or hunts – all of which are used as fundraising events for the organization and its humanitarian programs.
“The RI Board would not take kindly upon knowing that Rotary clubs are sponsoring or hosting gun and knife shows or that the clubs are hosting or sponsoring shooting tournaments and hunts. We would appreciate your assistance in passing on this information to the clubs in your areas and, if you would, ask any clubs that may already be sponsoring or hosting gun/knife shows, shooting tournaments and/or hunts to cease such activity,” read one notice.
Soon after the new policy was put in place, several clubs complained. As a result, the RI board said it would review the policy and provide more details soon.
Until then, clubs are allowed to proceed with any current gun-related events they have planned.