Who are the enablers of gun violence?

March 29, 2023

The NRA is a gun rights advocacy group founded shortly after the Civil War in an effort to encourage hunters and sharpshooters to learn how to handle rifles. In recent years, the NRA has transformed into a prominent force in what they call “gun rights lobbying.” According to Violence Policy Center, the NRA has received up to $60.2 million from gun industry partners since 2005, but publicly, the NRA has denied claims that they receive outside funding. Spending millions of dollars on independent lobbying efforts, the NRA wields great influence in the political sphere through their own initiatives, campaigns and stances for and against potential laws. 

One of America’s dominating organizations in political lobbying, records published by Open Secrets, an organization that tracks political spending, show that almost every sitting Republican senator received a check from the NRA, with the largest check of support to one single senator being $13 million. An audit released in 2017 that detailed the NRA’s spending revealed that the NRA spent a record $419 million in independent lobbying efforts to support Republican candidates and campaigns during the 2016 elections. In addition, the organization heavily involves themselves in supporting or opposing gun measures and transparency in politics. Their involvement in Congress’ policies is seen in their opposition of the DISCLOSE act, which requires organizations who are investing in elections to disclose their donors, and their support of the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” which permits carrying concealed handguns across state lines. As a non-profit and tax-exempt organization, the NRA itself adds to the questionability of the organization, as by federal law, nonprofits cannot endorse or campaign for political candidates — something that the NRA partakes in every year, raising more questions on the integrity of their organization.

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