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NRA influence on US politicians: Which politicians receive the most in donations from the NRA?

Lawmakers who have accepted donations from the NRA in in the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting which took 21 lives, including 19 children.

Lawmakers who have accepted donations from the NRA in in the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting which took 21 lives, including 19 children.

The NRA was founded in 1975 with the mission to preserve “the gun rights of all law-abiding individuals as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

In 1991, speaking with PBS Newshour, Republican Warren Burger who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1969 to 1986, said that he “were writing the Bill of Rights now there would be no such thing as the Second Amendment.”

“This has been one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime,” said Justice Burger, calling attention to the impact organizations like the NRA have on public life and judicial review in the US.

The Chief Justice’s point stems from the idea of the “right to bear arms,” is connected in the US Constitution to the establishment of a “well regulated Militia.” The Founders were worried about the federal state becoming too powerful and believed that a militia was necessary “to the security of a free State.” This line of argumentation is articulated in Federalist 46, written by James Madison.

In Federalist 46 of The Federalist Papers, James Madison defends the Second Amendment saying that state militias should be established and staffed by “officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.” Nowhere does Madison ever say that individuals have a right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment was intended to be a collective right to form militias to protect the population from the possibility of a tyrannical government emerging.

Which leaders have received the most money from the NRA?

Mitt Romney (UT - R)

Utah Senator Mitt Romney has been by far the largest recipient of donations from the NRA, with the totals received topping more than $13.6 million. Sen. Romney has two sentences related to his stance on the Second Amendment on his website.

I support the Second Amendment. Gun laws and school safety measures should be established by each state, not imposed by the federal government. I do not support newly proposed federal gun legislation, with the exception of the removal of bump stocks for public sale and an updated background check system.

Senator Mitt Romney

Sen. Romey does support federal legislation to ban the sale of bump stocks to the public and would be interested in updating the national background check system. However, his website provides no content on what he would be willing to support as a part of these two proposals.

The majority of funding, around $10 million from the NRA, has not been given to Sen. Romney directly; rather, it was spent on advertisements targeting the leader’s opponents.

Richard Burr (NC - R) and Thom Tillis (NC - R)

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is the second-highest recipient of NRA donations, totaling more than $6 million. Sen. Burr has not released a press release about the event and has not been active on social media for more than a year.

Other leaders, including Senator Roy Blunt (MO - R) and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner have received over $4,555,722 and $3,939,199, respectively.

Top recipients of NRA donations

1. Senator Mitt Romney | $13,645,387

2. Senator Richard Burr | $6,987,380

3. Senator Thom Tillis | $5,611,796

4. Senator Roy Blunt | $4,555,722

5. Senator Joni Ernst | $3,688,078

6. Senator Marco Rubio | $3,303,355

7. Senator Rob Portman | $3,063,327

8. Senator Todd Young | $2,899,232

9. Senator Bill Cassidy | $2,864,547

10. Senator Tom Cotton | $1,973,201



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