Of course! But in light of recent events, the situation seems to be finding a balance between the pro-gun and the anti-gun lobby. Recently, congress passed a gun control law for the first time in 25 years. The political momentum in the gun control debate has shifted in the year leading up to last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, with gun control advocates taking a larger, bolder stance. The National Rifle Association seems to be having some internal power struggles.
There are several states, mostly democratically controlled, that have enacted new gun laws this summer and some major gun control organizations have received an influx of new funding. The gun lobby has years of advantage over these groups. And a structural advantage as well. Not to mention a budget that is backed by some of the largest pocketbooks in the nation. A senate majority favors the NRA and will not pass any gun control legislation, so the NRA is still alive and well. The base of the republican voters still want to see the NRA seal of approval for the candidate and that seal of approval still matters. President Trump is a big supporter of the NRA and this gives the organization clout among the President’s base.
Financial Issues for the NRA
No, the NRA’s life is not in question, but the playing field may have become more equal in recent months. But does the NRA have some financial issues? Each year, the organization blocks significant gun control research and legislation in Congress, while influencing local and national elections through funding, media and outreach to its self-reported five million members.
This week, however, the NRA became the focus of a national news story. This was not for falling prey to an alleged Russian spy, or failing to respond after a deadly mass shooting, two issues the group has recently endured, but about its supposedly dire economic state. The NRA claims to be in a severe financial bind caused directly by Andrew Cuomo, New York’s democratic governor, who launched an aggressive campaign demanding companies conducting business in his state to cut ties with the organization.
But is the NRA running out of money? Hardly so! In 2018, the NRA set fundraising records by raising the most political donations of any group in a single month, according to Federal Elections Commission records. The NRA Political Victory Fund took in nearly $2.4m in the month of March alone, with the majority coming from small donors across the country. This is an impressive figure. This figure alone should tell people across the nation the NRA is a force to be reckoned with, and that there are a lot of Americans who support this organization with their dollars. Their values reflect where their dollars are going.
However, the NRA is not raising the alarm because of finances alone. The reason why the NRA is sounding the alarm about its financial state is because it reportedly cannot find insurance companies to support its media components. The group said its media liability insurance coverage was ended shortly after Mr. Cuomo began his campaign against the organization, adding that it fears other companies could soon cut ties as well.
“The NRA’s inability to obtain insurance in connection with media liability raises risks that are especially acute; if insurers remain afraid to transact with the NRA, there is a substantial risk that NRATV will be forced to cease operating,” the court filings read, claiming Mr. Cuomo’s actions “will imminently deprive the NRA of basic bank-depository services and other financial services essential to the NRA’s corporate existence.”
With the elections coming closer this year and the 2020 election looming toward us, the gun lobby and the anti-gun lobby are going to play a major part. The mass shootings are a factor.
NRA supporters are fervent and believe in their organization. People who are protesting gun violence also believe in what they are doing. We will see what will come of this as the year progresses. But for now, the NRA is alive and well.
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