The 49th Parallel Shooters and Hunters Organization also known as 49 PSH in short is an international firearms-advocacy organization, catering mostly to Canadians, and Americans living in the northern parts of continental United States near the Canadian border. The non-profit group was found by a group of Canadian and American gun rights activists, gun enthuthiasists and hunters particularily those living in southern Canada and the northern United States.
The group's goals are to encourage interaction and easier ties between and allow for shooters and hunters from north and south of the US-Canada border to enjoy the activities with minimal restrictions. These restrictions are due to the fact that it deals with two groups coming from different countries, meaning different laws. Hence, the club's name "49th Parallel" - which is the name for the US-Canada border.
Many of its prominent members were or are members of the National Rifle Association - the most popular gun lobby in the United States and the National Firearms Association, Canada's gun lobby.
Its current founder and president of James Thompson, a gun activist from Toronto (who now contains dual Canadian-American citizenship). The current vice president is Cecilia Pierre, a gun activist from Louisiana (born to French-speaking Canadians from Quebec).
The Canadian provinces with the most members include Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba in that order, and the US states with the most members include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, Michigan and Illinois in that order.
The organization was formed by a group of American and Canadian gun activists. Cecilia Pierre, a noted gun owner from Louisana took a trip to Canada to observe Canada's history. Fascinated by many of Canada's similarities to the United States, Pierre observed the history of gun culture in Canada, noting that gun culture is pretty much a part of Canadian culture as it is American.
She met a firearms instructor in Toronto by the name of James Thompson. Thompson claims that society had placed a stigma on him for owning a firearm. Pierre was also disgusted by Canada's over-stringent laws regarding the use of a firearm for self-defense.
Eventually, Pierre explored Canada to observe Canada's gun laws province by province, from stringent gun control provinces like Quebec to more pro-gun provinces like Alberta.
Thompson and Pierre often saw the border restrictions for firearms brought into Canada and USA from one another's nations were too strict, and that hunters, fishers and sport-shooters from the northern United States and southern Canada needed to be able to enjoy shooting and fishing together.