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This Is How Much Each GOP Senator Has Received From Gun Rights Groups

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This Is How Much Each GOP Senator Has Received From Gun Rights Groups


This article has been updated to reflect that Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) voted for all four gun control measures.

Barely more than a week after 49 people lost their lives in the worst mass shooting in American history, Congress has once again voted against gun control. The GOP-controlled Senate rejected four measures that would’ve made background-checks mandatory and prevented names on the terror list watch list from buying guns. Similar gun-control measures were also rejected after the Sandy Hook Elementary School and San Bernardino shootings.

Sen. Chris Murphy, who kick-started the vote with a 15-hour filibuster last week, and who sponsored two of the measures, said he was not surprised by the outcome, “I’m going to be turning my attention to the November election. I’m going to take some of my energy and help make sure that people who cast the wrong vote don’t come back to the Senate,” he told Politico.

“Sadly, our efforts are blocked by the Republican Congress, who take their marching orders from the National Rifle Association.” Said Democratic Sen. Harry Reid in a floor speech.

The Center for Responsive Politics reports:

Gun rights interests have given more than $37 million to candidates, parties and outside spending groups since 1989, with 88 percent of the funds contributed to candidates and parties going to Republicans. And in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, they let loose another $48 million (at least) in outside spending.

The NRA has provided the lion’s share of the funds, having contributed $22.3 million since 1989. During the 2014 election cycle, it further opened its coffers to make $27 million in outside expenditures.

GOP senators who voted against the “No Fly, No Buy” proposal said that they were just trying to protect the gun rights of people who mistakenly end up on the terror watch list. Instead, Republicans offered two countermeasures: one that would have placed a 72-hour hold on gun sales to people on the terrorist watch list, and another which would have expanded the legal definitions that prevent people with mental health issues form buying guns.

Democrats overwhelmingly rejected those, saying they would have made no difference in the Orlando tragedy.

According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, 92 percent of respondents said they wanted to expand background checks, and 85 percent said they supported a ban for people on federal watch lists from buying guns. Ninety percent of Republicans questioned favored preventing people on the terror list from buying guns, compared to 85 percent of questioned Democrats.

So with support for gun control at an all time high, even amongst Republicans, which senators voted against the restrictions, and why?

The voting occurred mostly along partisan lines, with 53 of 54 Republicans voting against the two Democratic measures. But it was not only Republicans: Sen. Jon Tester voted against Chris Murphy’s bill, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp voted against Diane Feinstein’s bill.

These senators are two of few Democrats to have taken NRA money — Heitkamp has received $8,000 from gun groups throughout her career and Tester has received $2,50s.

Both senators will seek reelection in heavily republican states in 2018.

Only one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk voted in favor of both Democratic bills. Kirk is the only GOP Senator that has received anything lower than an A- rating from the NRA. Coincidentally, he has also not received money from gun groups. Kirk represents Illinois, and Chicago is one of the most gun-violent cities in the nation, with more than 1,780 people shot this year. He’s facing reelection in November.

Money from gun rights groups can be traced to the campaigns of all 53 Republican senators who voted against the measure. Over the course of these senators’ careers, the NRA has given a staggering $36,290,699.

One GOP senator, Kelly Ayotte from New Hapmshire, voted for Sen. Diane Feinstein’s bill, but against Chris Murphy’s. Ayotte’s approval ratings fell when she voted against expanding background checks after the 2010 Newtown shooting and is in a tight battle for reelection against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. She is now working with Sen. Susan Collins on yet another attempt at compromise.

“To get to that solution, we have to move this debate forward,” said Ayotte said on the Senate floor after voting. She has taken in $29,295 in contributions from gun groups.

Collins has received $19,800 from gun rights groups throughout her career.

Here are the other Republican senators who voted against the measures, and the amounts of money they have received from gun rights groups throughout their careers. Note that these are only direct contributions: the gun lobby spends millions of dollars in “outside spending,” or advertising and other efforts which cannot be legally coordinated directly with campaign committees.

John Cornyn (TX) $169,625

John Thune (SD) $159,705

Mitch McConnell (KY) $132,700

Roy Blunt (MO) $122,630

Jim Inhofe (OK) $121,850

Rand Paul (KY) $109,045

Dean Heller (NV) $104,265

Richard Burr (NC) $97,050

Richard Shelby (AL) $96,850

Pat Toomey (PA) $96,077

Cory Gardner (CO) $93,434

Lindsey Graham (SC) $90,866

Pat Roberts (KA) $90,150

Ted Cruz (TX) $89,579

David Vitter (LA) $79,748

Marco Rubio (FL) $77,139

John McCain (AZ) $76,225

Chuck Grassley (IA) $75,600

Mike Crapo (ID), $72,940

Steve Daines (MO) $72,680

Jeff Sessions (AL) $62,200

Roger Wicker (MI) $59,250

Shelley Capito (WV) $58,200

Ron Johnson (WI) $57,925

Bill Cassidy (LA) $57,153

Tom Cotton (AR) $55,189

Rob Portman (OH) $55,150

Thad Cochran (MI) $53,050

Jeff Flake (AZ) $46,200

John Barrasso (WY) $46,099

Jim Risch (ID) $44,200

Jerry Moran (KA) $43,850

Orrin Hatch (UT) $38,350

Mike Enzi (WY) $37,500

James Lankford (OK) $37,425

John Hoeven (ND), $35,700

Lamar Alexander (TN) $34,750

Lisa Murkowski (AK) $34,358

Johnny Isakson (GA) $33,400

Deb Fischer (NE) $31,100

Joni Ernst (IA) $28,700

Thom Tillies (NC) $28,700

Tim Scott (SC) $27,400

John Boozman (AR) $26,235

Dan Coats (IN) $22,900

Bob Corker (TN) $22,440

Mike Lee (UT) $21,500

Ben Sasse (NE) $20,307

David Perdue (GA) $17,150

Mike Rounds (SD) $17,100

Dan Sullivan (AK) $12,036


U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) (C) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (R) speak to reporters after ending a 14-hour filibuster in the hopes of pressuring the U.S. Senate to action on gun control measures, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. June 16, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst



  1. dtgraham June 21, 2016

    Chris Murphy now needs to contact a medium to get the reaction of the dead Sandy Hook pre-schoolers to the Senate vote. I’ll bet their responses would be adorable.

    1. FireBaron June 22, 2016

      Read the responses of their parents and the families of the teachers. By the way, they weren’t preschoolers, but elementary school students.

  2. Dominick Vila June 21, 2016

    In addition to being paid mercenaries to the NRA, they are also complicit in aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States. By refusing to take benign measures to make it more difficult for our enemies to acquire lethal weapons, the Republican Senators who voted against these measures endorsed the rights of terrorists to slaughter Americans. The name for that is treason. BTW, there is nothing in the 2nd Amendment about making sure our enemies are well armed and capable of killing us.

    1. Independent1 June 21, 2016

      It’s quite clear, that to the vast majority of Republican politicians at least, the money from the NRA is more important than saving people’s lives – apparently even, if those most frequently dying prematurely by guns are predominately in the states where the majority of the voters are who put those senators in office who voted down the enhanced gun control measures – red states BY FAR lead the nation in homicides and accidental accidents and killings by gun. So it’s quite likely that it’s Republican voters who will be punished the most by the failure of Congress to pass better gun-control legislation.

      1. dtgraham June 22, 2016

        They are so NRA obsessed that if aliens from the Andromeda galaxy landed on the White House lawn, the first thing that Republicans would do is immediately ask them what their position was on gun control.

        1. Dominick Vila June 22, 2016

          Anything for a buck, and keeping their jobs. Even when that anything means aiding our enemies and threats to our freedoms and democracy.

    2. dtgraham June 22, 2016

      If ISIS put out a video personally thanking the Republican Senators for making future Orlandos easier for their admirers, would it even matter at this point?

      1. Dominick Vila June 22, 2016

        I doubt it. The people who blame President Obama’s mysterious gun control and immigration policies for letting in, a man born in New York city in 1986, are not interested in minor details.

    3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth June 22, 2016

      Your last point is particularly instructive in that it shows how stupid the legislators are by broadcasting to the world that they are willing to arm anyone, no questions asked.

    4. AgLander June 22, 2016

      The content and conclusions of your commentaries should be filed where they rightfully belong….in the trash can reserved for world salads gone bad.

  3. Stuart June 21, 2016

    The biggest threat to national security is the NRA, not Islamic terrorism or Russia or China. Patriot Act useful here?

    1. Independent1 June 21, 2016

      Actually, the GOP is the worst enemy America has – its worse than any threat from North Korea, Iran or ISIS – as the GOP is working 24/7 to destroy America from within: in virtually every way that the GOP can dream up – by destroying America’s social fabric with racism and bigotry;, to allowing America’s infrastructure to decay and the nation to fall years behind virtually every other major industrialized nation on internal high speed transit; to trying to remove virtually all the gains the nation had made in middle class advancement; to pushing harder to income inequality even worse than it is; and on and on and on.

      1. dtgraham June 22, 2016


        “Senate Republicans allow vote on gun control: promise never to contemplate humanity again.”

        1. AgLander June 22, 2016

          While you dither about wearing your blinders, humanity continues to be slaughtered by the barbarous Islamics on every corner of the globe.

          1. dtgraham June 23, 2016

            How about making it a little harder for those barbarous Islamics, by stopping the ones on the FBI terror watch list from buying guns? Just make the appeal process easy, quick, and efficient for anyone mistakenly or frivolously put on it.

            Oh, you say that the GOP wants no part of that because they’re owned by the NRA, and the NRA has become the marketing division of the gun manufacturers. Snap! Well, the Republicans talk a good game about terrorists anyway.

            When it comes down to it, they just want the right name used for them. That’s all. It ends there.

          2. AgLander June 23, 2016

            What are you blabbering about? Are you versed on the issue at all? It doesn’t sound like it because the NRA that you are railing against is in full support of preventing those on the FBI watch list from purchasing, or being on possession of firearms. But guess what? Omar Mateen was removed from that list twice by the FBI due to the feckless Obama administration badgering them about profiling Muslims. The FBI had become so paranoid of being censored by the bullies at the White House that an environment of extreme political correctness led to this horrific carnage. Wise
            up before you comment next time!!

          3. AgLander June 24, 2016

            Do you have a learning disability? You have linked an article for the NO FLY LIST while the topic is the TERRORIST WATCH LIST. The two are not the same, not even close. One (THE FLY LIST) IS filled with many, many errors and that was the opinion expressed by the Homeland Security Chief at the time, Michael Chertoff! Learn the difference, learn the names of notable people that were on the no fly list in error. Learn about the many that were included due to spelling errors and misidentification. Learn about the total uselessness of the no fly list at it is currently constructed. Then learn about the TERRORIST WATCH LIST and why the NRA supports its use totally. And after you learn, come back and meekly acknowledge who the actual F*cking idiot is!

          4. dtgraham June 24, 2016

            ~ The no fly list is a subset of the broader terrorist watch list. They’re not just close, they’re interrelated.

            ~ The NRA and Republicans oppose having anyone on the no fly list be denied access to a gun. The whole sit-in was based on no fly-no buy. Right? However, they’re now playing games with the broader terrorist watch list.

            A top NRA spokesman tweeted the day before their meeting with Trump that they were opposed to any ban on weapons purchases to people on the terror list. After the meeting they indicated that they were willing to support the Cornyn amendment. The problem with that amendment is the mere 72 hour delay in the purchase. Any lawyer can very easily delay the court action for 72 hours, making the Cornyn amendment worthless. He knows it, the Republicans know it , and so does the NRA.

            ~ I’m well aware of problems with the lists. The answer is letting people know right away that they’re on the list, and then having a simple and effective dispute mechanism for people who shouldn’t be. The goal here is to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. Comprende?

            F*cking idiot.

          5. AgLander June 24, 2016

            but it’s not a “subset” nor can it be because it is a total mess and defective in the way it was compiled and that’s the entire point you can’t get through your thick skull. Are you really as thick as you appear with your dumb “but, but, but” replies?

          6. dtgraham June 25, 2016

            “You have linked an article for the NO FLY LIST while the topic is the TERRORIST WATCH LIST. The two are not the same, not even close.”

            One thing being a subset of the other has nothing whatsoever to do with any defect in the way the first thing is compiled. Those are two completely different arguments.

            F*cking idiot.

          7. AgLander June 25, 2016

            You’re getting there! I feel like a special education teacher proud that I have a student finally understanding the point, even though you are conceding the point by trying, just a bit, to disguise that you are doing so. But that’s o.k. because it’s progress! Thanks!

          8. dtgraham June 26, 2016

            “I have a student finally understanding the point, even though you are conceding the point by trying, just a bit, to disguise that you are doing so.”

            What’s the point? Maybe you could share it.

      2. AgLander June 22, 2016

        At the very top of that list of worst enemy to America you will find yourself and those like you.

        1. Independent1 June 22, 2016

          Like I’ve asked you several times, give us a list of the things beneficial to America since Teddy Roosevelt was in office that the GOP has done for America; things that the GOP has done for America and for you and me; things that aren’t related to pumping money one way or the other into the pockets of the upper 10-20% of Americans – like consistently trying to pass tax cuts for the already wealthy while cutting benefits to the truly needy; or enacting tax relief giveaways for corporations while cutting benefits to the truly needy.

          And that’s aside from Eisenhower pushing for the interstate highway, because 1) he wasn’t a true Republican (all his years in the army he took no political sides) and 2) the only reason the GOP congress somewhat supported Ike’s idea was because Ike convinced them that the improved highways were needed for national security – not to make life easier for the average American which congress balked to support.

          So let’s see that list of things that are so wondrous that they have gotten the moronic support of idiots like you and a number of other nincompoop right-wingers posting here on the NM. Come on!! Let’s see that great list!!!

  4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth June 22, 2016

    It’s disconcerting to see so many politicians taking “blood money” rom a bestial organization like the NRA just to be able to stay in office to do nothing except find new ways to destroy the country.
    These depraved individuals are devoid of any sort of conscience—the only thing that motivates and sustains them is greed and a lust for power, two very powerful forces which are the antithesis of religious ideals.

    1. Christina63665666 June 22, 2016

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      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth June 22, 2016

        Stop working while reclining in bed, and direct your spam elsewhere.

  5. AgLander June 22, 2016

    Legal, documented donations from the NRA are bad….but the hundreds of millions in laundered money from women abusing regimes in the Middle East being funneled into the pockets of the Clintons through the Clinton Foundation is okee-dokie.
    Good morning! It’s a typical “journalistic” day here at the National Memo!

    1. Buford2k11 June 22, 2016

      You are part of the problem…Have a nice day…

      1. AgLander June 22, 2016

        No I’m not. I am not associated with the Clinton Foundation.

        1. dtgraham June 23, 2016

          She didn’t have time to launder Foundation money. She was too busy deleting e-mails. C’mon, you know you love Hillary’s new campaign slogan, “Wipe America clean again.”

          Incidentally, I don’t care what Trump just said, Hillary did not assassinate JFK.

          1. AgLander June 23, 2016

            You’re right……people associated with the Clintons didn’t start showing up dead by mysterious circumstances until the late 1970’s.


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