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Gun Control and Gun Rights: Legislation, Policy and Influence

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The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has brought gun policy back to the forefront of our national conversation. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit Sunlight takes no stance on the issue, but we have put together a collection of resources looking at the legislation, policy and influence around gun rights and gun control, plus the groups and lawmakers involved. The Gun Lobby Sunlight Foundation Senior Fellow Lee Drutman reviews the political influence of the National Rifle Association and the leading gun control group, the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence. Read his full analysis in this blog post. Lee notes that when it comes to the debate on gun policy, Congress is pretty much only hearing from one side. The NRA spends 66 times what the Brady Campaign spends on lobbying, and 4,143 times what the Brady Campaign spends on campaign contributions. Since 2011, the NRA spent at least $24.28 million: $16.83 million through its political action committee, plus $7.45 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action. According to Influence Explorer records, the Brady Campaign spent $5,800 this election cycle and reported $60,000 in lobbying costs.

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Las Vegas Tops Political TV Ad Filings

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chart of political ad files in Political Ad Sleuth Of the 50 TV advertising markets where stations have been putting political ad files online since Aug. 2, Las Vegas has the most disclosures on Political Ad Sleuth, with more than 2,300 filings. If you just look at Senate races, though, the No. 1 spot goes to Pennsylvania, which has Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) facing challenger Tom Smith. Political Ad Sleuth, a project of the Sunlight Foundation and Free Press, is just one week old and already the amount of political ad filings on TV are hitting record numbers. Be sure to check out how your local media market ranks.

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