The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a powerful group in the USA, and while many dislike its presence, a lot of politicians love them. has a rating system for politicians, which ranks them in regards to their support of gun rights in America. The rating system is maintained by the Political Action Committee (PAC) of the NRA called the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF).
The NRA-PVF gives politicians a rating without regard to their party affiliation. This grade is determined by checking their public statements about gun rights, their voting record on gun issues, and the answers they give on a NRA-PVF survey questionnaire. 49 of 100 of the current members of the Senate received an “A’ grade from the NRA. This includes ten Democrats.
BBC reports that the NRA has an annual operating budget of about $250 million. During 2016, the NRA spent $4 million on lobbying and direct political contributions and $50 million on political advocacy efforts.
The NRA-PVF is actively involved in campaigns for the U.S. Congress and the Senate. It also supports many candidates for the state legislations. Every year, millions of dollars are spent on political advertising, campaign donations, and campaign expenditures including the costs of mobilizing grass-root efforts in support of the NRA. The NRA-PVF has an average success rate of 84 to 85 percent in regards to getting the NRA-supported candidates elected.
Besides the POTUS, here are the five Senators that the New York Times said received the highest amounts of funding from the NRA to help their political careers. They all get an “A” rating from the NRA. The amounts shown are estimates of the total financial help (direct contributions and money spent by the NRA-PVF on their behalf) that they enjoyed from the NRA for all their campaigns over the years. There is also a quote from each one about the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Representing Arizona, Senator John McCain - $7,740,521
“Cindy and I are praying for the victims of the terrible #LasVegasShooting & their families.”
Senator John McCain knows that the people in Arizona love their guns. Arizona is an “open-carry” state, which means anyone can carry a legally-obtained handgun as long as it is clearly visible to others. For people not used to this laid-back attitude about guns, they may be a bit shocked the first time they see an elderly people in the grocery store in Arizona with a weapon in a holster worn on their hip.
Senator McCain’s voting history includes many “pro-gun” votes, such as a yes vote to reduce the need for a gun license and a background check for those purchasing a weapon at gun shows. He also voted to allow weapons in the checked bags while traveling on Amtrak trains.
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Representing North Carolina, Senator Richard Burr - $6,986,620
“My heart is with the people of Las Vegas and their first responders today. This morning’s tragic violence has absolutely no place here in America.”
Senator Richard Burr caused quite a stir, in 2016, when he made a joke that gun owners might want to put a “bull’s eye” on Hilary Clinton. He later apologized for his statement. The state of North Carolina, which he represents, has some of the least restrictive gun control laws in the country.
Representing Missouri, Senator Roy Blunt - $4,551,146
“Saddened by the tragic loss of life in #LasVegas. My thoughts are with all of the families affected by this horrific attack.”
Senator Blunt voted against creating a product liability for gun manufacturers for damages caused by the misuse of the weapons. He voted against banning high-capacity magazines for ammunition. He voted yes to reduce the waiting period for licensed gun purchase from three days to one day. He has been rated “A” by the NRA for the past fifteen years.
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Representing North Carolina, Senator Thom Tillis - $4,418,012
“Susan and I send our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the victims of this horrific and senseless tragedy in Las Vegas.”
Senator Tillis voted against the Democratic-lead effort to require background checks for all guns sales. This left open the “loop-hole” that allows anyone to buy a gun through a private sale without needing to pass a background check. This happens frequently at gun shows, which are held almost every week in Las Vegas. He said he thinks that the NRA is a “true” grass-roots organization, which is the number one defender of the Second Amendment, and its collective power is unparalleled.
Representing Colorado, Senator Cory Gardener $3,879,064
“My family and I are praying for the families of those injured and killed in Las Vegas last night.”
Senator Gardener opposes any restrictions on the rights of Americans to bear arms. He is a junior member of the Senate and a young man having been born in 1974. He is called one of the GOP’s “young guns.”
These Senators are the most in love with the NRA. The highest amounts received by the top NRA lovers in the House of Congress is around $1 million for Freed Hill (Arkansas), $800k for Ken Buck, and $700k for David Young (Iowa). Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Greg Giaforte (Montana) got less than one-half million each.
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