NAGR Outspends NRA in Gun Rights Battles

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Key opponents of gun control and proponents of immigration reform invested unprecedented amounts lobbying Congress this spring, bucking a downward trend among many of the nation’s largest companies and nonprofits,newly released records show.

The Virginia-based National Association for Gun Rights spent more than $3 million from April through June to advocate against dozens of firearm-related bills and amendments. That’s nearly four times the second-quarter lobbying expenditures of the better-known National Rifle Association, which itself spent a near-record $840,000 during the year’s second quarter.

The Virginia group is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. It did not lobby prior to this year and does not reveal its donors. The organization has accounted for about $5 million in federal lobbying spending from January through June, ranking it above or alongside major spenders like Shell Oil Co., America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Bankers Association and tobacco company Altria Group, among others.

On the other side of the gun rights argument is the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. The group spent $580,000 on lobbying last quarter — easily twice what it’s spent compared to any other quarter.

Another 501(c)(4) nonprofit, the liberal Advocacy Fund of San Francisco spent about $2.2 million to exclusively press Congress on “comprehensive immigration reform,” federal filings show.

The group, which also does not reveal its donors, spent just $10,331 on federal lobbying during the year’s first quarter and hadn’t spent more than $490,000 for any quarter ever, according to congressional disclosures.

In addition to direct lobbying, the Advocacy Fund supports a variety of left-leaning organizations that, for example, support gay rights and oppose the death penalty, according to its most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service. It describes itself as a group that “enables progressive donors and activists to impact the legislative arena by providing a legal and fiscal home to those advocating for social change.”

Neither the National Association for Gun Rights nor the Advocacy Fund returned a call seeking comment.

(Update, 7:26 p.m.: In an email, National Association for Gun Rights spokeswoman Danielle Thompson said her organization will continue this year to “be a thorn in the side of senators who seem to ride the fence on this issue” and “spend whatever we believe it takes during the remainder of this year to make sure no new federal gun control becomes law.” She declined to discuss the organization’s funding, but priased the “grassroots efforts of our members and supporters” for helping defeat all major gun control proposals in Congress this year.)

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  • Robert S Moulds

    The democrats pushed gun control too hard and now face a stronger gun lobby than the NRA the NAGR if they paid attention to voters and not Joe Biden they ‘d have less lobby groups to worry about.

  • Bruce Parker

    I have been posting everything about the NAGR on facebook among my 1600+ friends. I always encourage donations and promote their fundraisers. They Fight Well Above their Weight! Kudos Dudley Brown! A Great American Patriot!…