NRA Funding & Loopholes for Getting Guns, N.C. Republican Senators Rank 2nd

NRA Funding & Loopholes for Getting Guns, N.C. Republican Senators Rank 2nd

by February 23, 2018

NRA Funding – Individuals who want to buy an AR-15 from a private seller (i.e. a reseller on Craigslist, a neighbor, or at a gun show) do not need a permit or a background check. 

After the heartbreak in Parkland, Florida, we decided to focus on the status of gun laws here in North Carolina:

N.C. Senators – two of the top four recipients of NRA funding …

On the national level, our two senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, both Republicans, are two of the top four recipients of NRA funding —  each having received $6,986,620 and $4,418,012 respectively. Both Senators have 100% voting scores to get high dollar NRA funding. We will see what happens if current reforms reach debate on the senate floor.

Most Americans support stronger gun laws — laws that would reduce deaths. But Republicans in Congress stand in the way. They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association, and losing NRA funding.

(courtesy The New York Times) Below are the top 10 career recipients of NRA funding – through donations or spending to benefit the candidate – among both current House and Senate members, along with their statements about the Las Vegas massacre. These representatives have a lot to say about it. All the while, they refuse to do anything to avoid the next massacre.


1.John McCain
“Cindy & I are praying for the victims of the terrible #LasVegasShooting & their families.”
from the N.R.A.
2.Richard Burr
“My heart is with the people of Las Vegas and their first responders today. This morning’s tragic violence has absolutely no place here in America.”
from the N.R.A.
3.Roy Blunt
“Saddened by the tragic loss of life in #LasVegas. My thoughts are with all of the families affected by this horrific attack.”
from the N.R.A.
4.Thom Tillis
“Susan and I send our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the victims of this horrific and senseless tragedy in Las Vegas.”
from the N.R.A.
5.Cory Gardner
“My family and I are praying for the families of those injured and killed in Las Vegas last night.”
from the N.R.A.
6.Marco Rubio
“I’m praying for all the victims, their families, and our first responders in the #LasVegas #MandalayBay shooting.”
from the N.R.A.
7.Joni Ernst
“My prayers are with all of the victims in Las Vegas, and their loved ones affected by this senseless act of violence.”
from the N.R.A.
8.Rob Portman
“Jane & I mourn the loss of innocent lives in this horrific attack in Las Vegas last night. We are praying for those taken from us, their families & all those injured in this attack.”
from the N.R.A.
9.Todd Young
“We must offer our full support to the victims and their families as our nation mourns.”
from the N.R.A.
10.Bill Cassidy
“Following closely the horrendous act of violence in Las Vegas. Our prayers are with those who were injured, killed and their families.”
from the N.R.A.

1.French Hill
“Martha and I are praying for the families and victims of this senseless act of evil. […] We must continue to work together to stop this kind of terror.”
from the N.R.A.
2.Ken Buck
“I’m praying for all of those impacted by the evil events in Las Vegas last night. Our country must stand together in support of the families of the victims and the community.”
from the N.R.A.
3.David Young
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends of the horrific and evil tragedy in Las Vegas.”
from the N.R.A.
4.Mike Simpson
“Though no words can heal our hurt, and no explanation will ever feel sufficient, I pray that all involved may find comfort as we process this devastating tragedy.”
from the N.R.A.
5.Greg Gianforte
No statement released.
from the N.R.A.
6.Don Young
“Anne and I are praying for all those involved or impacted by this heinous act of violence.”
from the N.R.A.
7.Lloyd Smucker
“Horrific act of violence in Las Vegas. Cindy and I pray for the victims, their families, and the first responders.”
from the N.R.A.
8.Bruce Poliquin
“My thoughts are with all those effected in the horrifying attacks in Las Vegas. The nation is with you.”
from the N.R.A.
9.Pete Sessions
“My deepest sympathies are with all who were harmed by this horrific tragedy.”
from the N.R.A.
10.Barbara Comstock
“I am heartbroken by the mass murder that took place last night in Las Vegas and I am praying for the victims, families, and first responders.”
from the N.R.A.

All of these representatives are Republican. The highest ranked Democrat in the House is Sanford Bishop, who ranks 41st in career donations from NRA funding. Among the top 100 House recipients, 95 are Republican. In the Senate, the top two Democrats are Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who rank 52nd and 53rd — behind every Republican but Dan Sullivan of Alaska.

Finally, why are the New York Times’ numbers different from those in Bret Stephens’s column on the Second Amendment? Because ours include money the NRA funding on behalf of candidates, in addition to money it gives directly to candidates.

North Carolina students stand up.
Students in North Carolina are joining those across the country advocating for gun safety reform. On Tuesday night, students gathered in Raleigh to light candles honoring the 17 people killed in last week’s Florida shooting. Organizers shouted, “Governor Cooper, North Carolina legislators, these students are here to demand you take action… and we are here to support them. And we will not stop until change is made and they are safe.”

“When children are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”

What does the federal government regulate?
Federal law requires licensed gun sellers to run background checks on every person purchasing a firearm. However, unlicensed sellers are regulated on a state-by-state basis. Gun regulation advocates refer to this as the Brady Loophole, or the Gun Show Loophole. Federal law forbids people who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or to others from purchasing a gun. The court must deem a person ‘mentally defective’ in order to add them to a database that forbids them from purchasing a gun through a licensed seller, but this is easily circumvented with the Brady Loophole.

What is North Carolina doing?
States have a big role to play in regulating firearms because of the loopholes in the federal law. In North Carolina, permits and background checks are required for private purchase of pistols, but no such requirements exist for long guns, including AR-15’s. North Carolina requires permits for concealed and open carry for pistols, but does not require permits for open or concealed carry of long guns. North Carolina is one of only 19 states which require a criminal background checks for gun sales by unlicensed sellers. There are only five states that have “Red Flag Laws”, or laws that let law enforcement strip a person’s right to purchase firearms if they are deemed a threat as a result of things like threatening people online. North Carolina is not one of these states.

North Carolina just tried to get rid of the permit system for concealed carry for handguns.
Last summer, the NCGA House passed HB 746, a bill that would have removed backgrounds checks and permits for concealed carry in North Carolina. Sponsors of HB 746 said that it would allow “law-abiding citizens to have the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones.” However, even police in NC came out against this law. Police officers rely on the permit system to know if they are entering a house or pulling over the car of someone who is registered with a pistol. Police said eliminating the permit system would make their jobs much more dangerous and stressful.

In other news, Tim Moore echoed the latest NRA funding talking point this week by suggesting that the legislature consider arming teachers to prevent school shootings. The legislature can’t find the money to fund pencils, but can find it to fund guns? Palm, meet face.


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