Pro-Gun Spending in RI Up More Than 300% Since Sandy Hook School Shooting in 2012
Using the RI Secretary of State Lobby Tracker and the RI Board of Elections Campaign Finance Electronic Reporting and Tracking System (ERTS), we were able to document shockingly high gun lobby and pro-gun PAC expeditures in Rhode Island from 2013 through August 2020.
SIX Pro-Gun Organizations Have Documented Expenditures Over $804,000* from 2013 through August 16, 2020
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Rifle Association of America
Lobbying: *lobbyists employed year-round, but only lists hourly rate; does not list total hours
PAC: $16,527 (2013 and forward)
$181,030 (from 2007 to 2012, prior to formal dissolution for illegal campaign donations; see “Shady Tactics” below)
Rhode Island Second Amendment Coalition (designated official RI NRA organization in 2014 after formal dissolution of NRA Political Victory PAC)
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Gun Owners PAC: $25,041
We the People/RI Firearm Owners League PAC: $13,212
*Figures do NOT include lobbying for individuals who only document an hourly rate or a percentage of salary.
Data gathered from RI Secretary of State and RI Board of Elections:
The NRA Political Victory Fund PAC was fined $63,000 and formally dissolved after an investigation unearthed over $160,000 political contributions that were illegally funneled to RI politicians. More on this scandal …
The NRA lost no time in designating a new official affiliate in RI. Campaign finance documentation shows that resources have essentially been redirected from the NRA Politcal Victory Fund to this new affiliate.
The NRA still employs lobbyists year-round, however the $804k figure does not include their lobby spending at the State House because they only list hourly fees (they do NOT list hours billed or a monthly or annual amount).
This year we haven’t seen NRA ratings, as politicians shun this distinction in the face of the organization’s mounting legal problems, primaries from candidates challenging the status quo, and the groundswell of support among voters for common-sense reforms in RI as well as across the country.
Sadly, some members of leadership at the State House and other key RI House, Senate and municipal politicians have routinely received “A” ratings from the NRA as recently as the 2018 election cycle.
RICAGV Fights Back
We take gun violence prevention head on at the State House and also support our city and town councils and school committees as they address resolutions and policy proposals to keep their communities safe from gun violence.
Since our founding in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy we have grown into a formidable grassroots organization that has been instrumental in the makeup of the Rhode Island General Assembly.
Thanks to our amazing supporters throughout the state, the RI House and Senate have gone from less than a dozen gun safety champions in 2013 to sixty RICAGV endorsements in the 2020 election cycle. (Our endorsements are earned through actual advocacy and affirmation of sensible reforms on our candidate questionnaire.)