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NRA Spends Record Money on Lobbying this Year

Dave Levinthal
Published: Sunday 21 April 2013
Pro-gun organization increases output in early 2013 as congressional debate rages.
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As gun control debates raged in Congress early this year, the National Rifle Association increased its federal government lobbying expenditures to record levels, new filings with the U.S. Senate indicates.

The NRA and affiliated National Rifle Association of America Institute for Legislative Action together spent at least $800,000 lobbying the federal government during the year's first quarter — more money than they've together spent during the same time period from any past year, according to federal records available Saturday afternoon.

Such aggressive advocacy preceded a major legislative victory Wednesday for gun advocates, as the U.S. Senate defeated a proposal to expand gun background checks.

And it came as gun control advocates  — from President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the families of children killed last year in Newtown, Conn. — pressured lawmakers to pass laws restricting firearm purchases and useage.

The NRA groups' first-quarter lobbying expenditures have ben steadily increasing in recent years, but never cracked the $700,000 mark.

During the first three months of 2012, they spent $695,000. That follows $675,000 in 2011 and $615,000 in 2010.

This year, the NRA's lobbying efforts were exclusively directed at the House and Senate, according to federal disclosures, and it lobbied on numerous U.S. House and U.S. Senate bills proposed by federal legislators.

Among them:

  • H.R. 751, the Protect America's Schools Act of 2013
  • H.R. 274, the Mental Health First Act of 2013
  • H.R. 329, the Strengthening Background Checks Act of 2013
  • H.R. 575, the the Second Amendment Protection Act of 2013
  • S. 54, the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013
  • S. 374, the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013
  • S. 146, the School and Campus Safety Enhancements Act of 2013
  • S. 174, the Ammunition Background Check Act of 2013
  • S. 480, the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013
  • H.R. 138 and S. 33, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act
  • H.R. 142 and S. 35, the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2013
  • H.R. 437 and S. 150, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

The NRA itself spent $700,000 lobbying the federal government during the year's first quarter, federal records show. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive, was among 12 in-house NRA officials to lobby during the year's first three months.

Several contract lobbying firms, including Crossroads StrategiesPrime Policy GroupFTI Government Affairs and Shockey Scofield Solutions, combined to spend at least another $100,000 lobbying on behalf of the NRA or National Rifle Association of America Institute for Legislative Action from January through March.

Companies, unions and special interest groups that lobby the federal government have until Monday to submit mandatory first quarter lobbying disclosure reports to Congress.

The NRA and affiliate spent nearly $3 million on federal-level lobbying in 2012 — more than it has during any previous year, according to data maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

But NRA spending during this year's first quarter puts it on pace to exceed that mark.

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ABOUT Dave Levinthal

Dave Levinthal joined the Center for Public Integrity in 2013 to help lead its Consider the Source project investigating the influence of money in politics. For two years prior to joining the Center, Dave reported on campaign finance and lobbying issues for Politico and co-wrote the daily Politico Influence column. He also edited from 2009 to 2011, where he led coverage that won the Online News Association’s top honors in 2011 for best topical reporting and blogging and was a finalist the same year for the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Distinguished Service to the First Amendment award. From 2003 to 2009, Dave worked for The Dallas Morning News, primarily covering Dallas City Hall also reporting on national elections and aviation security. From 2000 to 2002, he covered the New Hampshire Statehouse for The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Dave graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in newspaper journalism and political philosophy and edited The Daily Orange. He is also a two-time winner (2007 and 2010) of Canada’s Northern Lights Award for his travel writing about the arctic.

re: background

re: background checks....think the NRA and Mr. LaPierre may be worried that too many of their members couldn't pass one?

During my entire life (64

During my entire life (64 years) I was against guns and all that meant.

So my decision to join the NRA was no small undertaking.

Why did I make that decision?

Could it be all of President Obama's campaign lies that really masked his true beliefs and that make him the twin of George W. Bush. Or maybe the economy that has devastated MOST of us (Not the upper income folks ). Maybe it was watching millions of Americans losing their homes. Or the poor and homeless numbers increasing daily. All that with NO government intervention.

Or perhaps the illegal wars this corporate government is engaged in. Or that the USA is the largest seller of arms in the whole world!

Maybe it was when the President flew nuclear capable planes over North Korea and the fact that he is sending 123 million to support the terrorists in Syria.

Or maybe it was the Boston bombs that killed and maimed Americans all while hundreds of Law Enforcement were already on the scene BEFORE the blast.

All of the above!

But my NRA membership is a statement. At least ONE organization is working to protect real Americans and I strongly support that!

When the President respects our Constitution and our government loses it's corporate taint then perhaps our society will start to heal and hopefully become a safer place.

As a veteran, as a father, as an American I urge YOU to pursue your own goals to make our country better.

Meanwhile, don't call me, even indirectly, a thug, terrorist or any other names!

The author of this article really should try logic rather than name calling.

Just saying....

And they were able to buy the

And they were able to buy the Senate vote. Who said 1% does not buy government decisions? Have money? You can do almost anything, buy almost anyone, and let the poor pick up the pieces of broken promises, broken lives, broken dreams....

Beyween the NRA and Obama;

Beyween the NRA and Obama; Obama's pockets are much, much deeper. The people's money he spent buying votes to get another four in the White House, makes the NRA look like a piker by comparison.

I wonder if it might be

I wonder if it might be possible to force the NRA to spend itself into bankruptcy by continuing to propose bill after bill for them to lobby against. They don't even have to be rational or reasonable bills. They'd spend millions to defeat a bill titled, "Confiscate All Firearms, Forks And Kitchen Knives and Mel Them Down Bill of 2013". Use their own tactics to defeat them.

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