Election 2018 | Press Releases

Republicans Took Big Money from the NRA. How Are They Returning the Favor?

Oct 09, 2017

GOP remains in the pocket of the gun lobby; Continues to do their bidding

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United, special interests have been able to dump unlimited money in our elections. In 2008, before the ruling, the NRA spent $10 million to influence federal elections. Fast forward six years later and that number skyrocketed to at least $54 million in the 2016 elections, an increase of almost 450%. If you look at campaign contributions alone, the gun lobby gave $5.9 million directly to Republicans last cycle. The NRA and others are amassing unprecedented power over these politicians who refuse to contradict their biggest donors.

While the overwhelming majority of Americans support gun safety measures, Republicans continue to block common-sense reforms.

In the pockets of the gun lobby, Republicans:

  • This year:

    • Made it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns;

    • Are attempting to eliminate restrictions on gun silencers; and

    • Are pushing a Reciprocity bill that would override state rights, allowing people to carry guns in other states if they have a concealed carry permit in their home state. It would also allow some people to bring guns into schools.

  • Last year:

    • Blocked a bill to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns, as well as expanded background checks.

  • Following the Sandy Hook shooting:

    • Blocked expanded background checks;

    • Blocked ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

Now, Republicans have to decide whether campaign contributions are more important than the safety of Americans. Supporting a ban on “bump stocks” that converts semiautomatic weapons into virtual automatic weapons is only a starting point. It is not enough.  

They should also get behind common-sense gun safety measures with widespread support, such as background checks to stop criminals from buying guns, bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and a ban on terrorists on the no-fly list from purchasing guns. They should end the push to pass reciprocity and efforts that would make silencers easier to buy.

ReadUntil the spigot of unlimited special interest money to members of Congress is closed, passing meaningful reform will be difficult. Overturning Citizens United is a crucial first step.

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ECU is dedicated to unrigging the system in Washington where politicians write the rules to benefit their Big Money campaign donors. The grassroots-fueled group is giving a voice to millions of American families who are demanding reform to end the influence of Big Money in politics.


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