Year after year, gun advocacy groups outspend gun control advocates in Congress

In the two weeks since a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, federal lawmakers from both houses of Congress have clashed over how the government should respond. .

Democrats produced a series of gun control measures called the “Protecting Our Children Act,” which on Wednesday cleared the Democratic-controlled House mostly along party lines. On the same day, survivors of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, gave heartbreaking testimony before congressional leaders in an hour-long hearing.

But the package faces an uphill battle in the Senate: Democrats would need to sway at least nine Republican senators to secure a filibuster-proof majority vote in favor of the package. The Republican leadership has already signaled that its caucus will vote against gun control measures in the Senate.

If the Protecting Our Children Act does not become law, it will be the latest in a series of gun control proposals after the mass shootings to die for in Congress.

The money behind these proposals – and their opposition – largely explains their repeated defeats in Congress.

Over the past 20 years, the lobbying expenditures and contributions of gun rights organizations to influence House members have eclipsed those of gun control groups. From 2002 to 2022, gun rights groups have spent more than $166 million to roll back gun control measures in the legislature, while gun control groups have spent about $25 million, about six times less than their counterparts, on advocacy over the same period, according to data from the campaign and lobbying database OpenSecrets.

The NRA has led every other gun rights group in political contributions in every election cycle for at least the past 20 years. However, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has lost $5 million in lobbying every election year since 2002, exceeding NRA lobbying expenditures by about $80,000 per cycle, according to OpenSecrets data.

Everytown For Gun Safety, a nonprofit founded and run by former New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, has spent nearly $4.4 million in political contributions and $1.7 million dollars in lobbying over the past year. Giffords, The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence and Sandy Hook Promise are other current expenses. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Majority Leader, has received about $68,000 in contributions over the past year from gun control groups, more than any other member of his party. .

Former President Donald Trump, who received $3.5 million in contributions from Second Amendment groups during his 2020 re-election campaign, is a major beneficiary of pro-gun inflows. .

Texas Senator Ted Cruz received $311,151 in pro-gun midterm contributions in 2018, more than any other Republican candidate, and in 2016 he raised $351,000, second only to Trump’s $809,000. .

At the 2022 NRA convention in Houston the weekend after the shooting of Uvalde, Cruz and Trump defended the possession of firearms and rejected any additional restrictions on obtaining firearms as a possible response to the massacre.

A bipartisan group of negotiators led by Texas Senator John Cornyn is in talks this week to reach an agreement on gun reform following the passage by the House of the Protecting Our Children Act. “I think focusing on mental health issues and people with criminal histories is an obvious area where I think we can work together,” Cornyn told CBS News on Wednesday.

About Michael S. Montanez

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