America’s Powerful Gun Lobby

With the NRA making headline news over the past week, I wanted to take a brief look at the activities of gun lobbyists in Washington, particularly since President Obama has mandated that "changes are a'comin'".  My data for this posting is sourced from Open Secrets, a virtual treasure trove of political financing in America.
 
Here is a graph showing the annual spending by gun rights lobbyists since 1998:
 
 
So far in 2012, a total of $3,774,218 has been spent by 42 lobbyists representing 7 clients including the National Rifle Association.
 
Here is a list of the clients and how much they spent in 2012:
 
 
By far, the largest spender was the NRA with 58.4 percent of the total spent by gun rights lobbyists.
 
Here is a look at where the gun rights groups donated their campaign contributions in 2011 – 2012 by political party:
 
 
Here is the breakdown showing that roughly 90 percent of the total donated by the gun lobby went to Republican candidates and the Republican Party:
 
 
Here is a summary showing which Congressional Party received the most support from the gun rights lobby in the 2012 election cycle:
 
 
 
Here is a graph showing the split between Congressional Democrats and Republicans since 1990 showing how financial support from the gun rights lobby has increasingly been donated to the Republicans over the past 2 decades:
 
Here is a list of the top 20 Members that received financial support from the gun rights lobby in the latest election cycle and how much they received:
 
 
Overall, the Member that received the least support was Van Hilleary (R) of Tennessee who benefitted to the tune of a whopping $51.
 
Let's take a quick look at where the NRA is spending their lobbying dollars and how their spending has changed over the past few election cycles.
 
Here is a bar graph showing the NRA's annual spending on lobbying since 1998:
 
Here is a listing of the lobbying firms that the NRA has hired in 2012 and the names of the lobbyists involved:
 
 
Lastly, here is a screen capture showing page one of the Lobbying Report for the NRA for the third quarter of 2012:
 
 
Hopefully, all of this information will help you put into context the comments that you will be hearing from Washington over the coming weeks as those that America elects grapple with the polarizing issue of gun control in the United States.  With the NRA being such a powerful and wealthy lobby, the group will have a great deal of impact on the outcome.
 
Click HERE to read more of Glen Asher's columns

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