By The Numbers: Comparing Spending By Gun Rights And Gun Control Interest Groups

By The Numbers: Comparing Spending By Gun Rights And Gun Control Interest Groups

by Suevon Lee,ProPublica.

Political spending by gun rights groups far outweighs that by gun control groups. Here, we break down just how wide the discrepancy is.

We define gun rights groups as nonprofit organizations that lobby Congress and advocate on behalf of the ownership and use of firearms, and we define gun control groups as nonprofit organizations that lobby Congress and advocate for gun control legislation. (Where relevant, we’ve also included donations from Super PACs where gun control policy is a major focus.)

We’ve honed in on the largest and most prominent of these special interest groups. See how their spending breaks down

Federal Campaign Contributions

$3.13 million: Total amount of top campaign contributions by gun rights interest groups in 2012

96: Percent of the above figure donated to Republicans

$1.1 million: Total campaign contributions by the National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun rights group, in 2012

89: Percent of the above figure donated to Republicans

$4,036: Total campaign contributions by gun control interest groups in 2012

100: Percent of the above figure donated to Democrats

$581,394: Largest-ever total of campaign contributions from the gun control lobby (in 2000)

Independent Expenditures

(defined by the Federal Election Commission as an advertisement “expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate”)

$18.2 million: NRA’s reported independent expenditures in the 2012 election cycle

$11.4 million: How much the NRA spent against all Democratic candidates in 2012

$8.2 million: How much the NRA spent against President Obama in 2012

$0: Reported independent expenditures in the 2012 election cycle by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the largest grassroots organization dedicated to gun control measures

$3.3 million: Amount spent by Independence USA PAC, a Super PAC founded by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2012 that focuses on issues of gun control, school reform and marriage equality, to help unseat former U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (R-CA), known to be pro-gun rights

$460,850: Amount spent by Independence USA PAC this election to help unseat former U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, (R-NY), known to oppose restrictions on gun ownership

Lobbying

$3.8 million: Amount that gun rights groups on the whole spent lobbying Congress in 2012

$2.2 million: Amount that the NRA spent lobbying Congress in 2012

66: Number of congressional bills NRA lobbied on behalf of in 2012

242: Number of U.S. House lawmakers to whom NRA has given an “A” rating

146: Number of U.S. House lawmakers to whom NRA has given a “D” or “F” rating

46: Number of U.S. Senate lawmakers to whom NRA has given an “A” rating

35: Number of U.S. Senate lawmakers to whom NRA has given a “D” or “F” rating

$180,000: Amount that gun control groups on a whole spent lobbying Congress in 2012

83: Percent of the above figure spent solely by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mayors founded in 2006 dedicated to promoting gun control initiatives

$960,000: Largest-ever amount the Brady Campaign spent on lobbying (in 2004)

$30,000: Amount the Brady Campaign spent lobbying Congress in 2012

36: Number of congressional bills the Brady Campaign lobbied on behalf of in 2012

$2.1 million: Largest-ever amount gun control groups on a whole spent lobbying Congress (in 2001)

 Revenue

$228 million: NRA’s total revenue in 2010 (most recent year available)

$107 million: Total amount NRA collected from membership dues and fees in 2010

781: Number of NRA employees in 2010

125,000: Number of NRA volunteers in 2010

4 million: Current estimated number of NRA members

300,000: Estimated membership of Gun Owners of America, another gun rights lobbying group

$970,300: Total compensation for NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre in 2010

$1.1 million: Total compensation for NRA Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson in 2010

$19.8 million – $52.6 million: Estimated contribution range to NRA from outside corporations since 2005 through a corporate-giving program, per a report by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that advocates for stricter gun control

74: Percent of the above amount contributed by the firearms industry (manufacturers and sellers of guns and gun products)

$11 billion: Estimated revenue in 2012 by the gun and ammunitions industry

$2.9 million: Brady Campaign’s total revenue in 2010 (most recent year available)

16: Number of Brady Campaign employees in 2010

500: Number of Brady Campaign volunteers in 2010

$264,870: Total compensation for Brady Campaign’s then-president Paul Helmke in 2010

$2.7 million: Total revenue drawn by Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund in 2010

Photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci

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