Washington, D.C. — Last month, with only two Republican votes, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the first federal assault weapons ban in nearly three decades. Yet this basic, sensible gun safety measure has not always been intensely partisan: In 1994, roughly 22 percent of Republicans supported a bill banning assault weapons. According to a new column released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the GOP’s increasingly extreme stance on gun control can largely be traced to soaring donations that gun lobby groups have made to Republican candidates in recent decades. The analysis comes as more GOP-led states are passing permitless carry legislation that not only is opposed by law enforcement but also has been shown to increase crime.
“MAGA Republicans are in the pocket of the gun lobby, plain and simple,” said Jerry Parshall, senior director of the Safety and Justice Campaign at CAP Action. “Rather than passing effective and highly popular legislation to prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe, today’s GOP has caved to the gun lobby and put profits and power over public safety.”
CAP Action’s analysis found that two powerful pro-gun groups in particular—the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA)—have escalated their campaigns to block gun safety legislation over the past decade by flooding GOP candidates’ campaign coffers. From 2010 to 2020, the NSSF’s political donations to Republican candidates exploded from $3,000 to $512,000, while contributions to Democrats remained low at $4,900 in 2010 and less than $9,000 in 2020. Together, the NSSF and NRA have directly donated more than $1.8 million to GOP candidates.
Click here to read: “Gun Lobby Donations Are Driving the GOP’s Increasingly Extreme Opposition to Gun Control” by CAP Action
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