Donations to the NRA Tripled After Mass Shooting in Florida

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 29, 2018US News
Donations to the NRA Tripled After Mass Shooting in Florida
National Rifle Association members look over guns in the Barrett display at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 29, 2017. With more than 800 exhibitors, the convention is the largest annual gathering for the NRA's more than 5 million members. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Donations to the National Rifle Association (NRA) tripled in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Florida in February.

Reports from the Federal Election Commission showed that donations to the association’s Political Victory Fund tripled from January to February.

The National Rifle Association received about $248,000 in January, versus about $779,000 in February.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political spending, donations of $200 or more by individuals doubled in the latter two weeks in February versus the first two weeks, indicating that the aftermath of the shooting played a big role in the large increase.

The shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and 16 others wounded.

Nikolas Cruz, a former student, allegedly admitted to opening fire at the school. After the shooting, a group of students started pushing for gun control legislation, including banning certain guns such as the AR-15.

The push, funded by celebrities and groups such as Everytown, has prompted a backlash from gun rights advocates, including the NRA. Events organized by the gun control advocates have included a town hall hosted by CNN in which students confronted NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and a national march on March 24.

The students have employed heightened rhetoric, suggesting any official that takes donations from the NRA should be voted out and saying officials at the association have “blood on their hands.”

In recent weeks, some advocates have also called for a repeal of the Second Amendment, including former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

The NRA has hit back with a number of advertisements, spending more than six times as much as it had been before the shooting on digital ads, including on Youtube and Facebook, reported the Chicago Tribune.

The daily average amount spent jumped from $11,300 to $47,300, according to data from Pathmatics, a company that analyzes data from online ads.

President Donald Trump has voiced support for some measures that gun control advocates have pushed in the wake of recent shootings, and under his advisement, the Justice Department ordered a ban on bump stocks.

However, he’s also suggested arming teachers would provide an extra deterrent for would-be school shooters. Dozens of school districts across the nation already allow teachers to be armed, and a number of districts have moved to introduce or pass legislation that would allow that since the shooting.

Trump also used Twitter to speak out on the idea floated by some groups this week of repealing the Second Amendment.

“THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!” he said. “As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!”


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President Trump’s First State of the Union Address

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