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NRA Spends Record Money on Lobbying this Year
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.
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.
- 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 Strategies, Prime Policy Group, FTI 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.