Billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg is asking prominent Democratic donors in New York, a key source of funds for candidates across the country, to stop contributing to the four Democratic senators who voted to block a bill that would have strengthened background checks for gun buyers, the New York Times reported.Continue reading
The latest TV ad by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun control group funded by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, hit the airwaves in Nevada this week, ahead of a close vote Wednesday on a background check bill that passed the state Senate.
The bill would close the loophole that allows private sales to be made without checking the criminal background of the purchaser. It also bans people deemed mentally ill and likely to harm someone from possessing a gun. The bill can be followed on Scout, Sunlight's tool for tracking the progress of state and federal legislation.
The bill passed ...Continue reading
Updated on April 5 at 1:42 p.m. ET (see below)
While attention is focused on the U.S. Senate, which could begin voting as early as next month on gun control legislation, some state lawmakers are trying to move in the opposite direction.
Bills to nullify any gun control measures that Congress enacts have been introduced in at least 37 states since the beginning of the year, according to an analysis using Scout, Sunlight's legislative alert system. To browse the list and click through to the text of the bills, click here.Continue reading
Since the Dec. 14 shooting that left 26 people dead at a Connecticut elementary school, at least 22 lobbyists have registered to influence Congress on gun-related issues, and several have been holding fundraisers for Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who is a potential swing vote in the legislative battle on Capitol Hill.Continue reading
As the Senate prepares to take up the first major gun control debate since last December's shooting massacre in Connecticut, a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the political pressures on 26 key senators paints a pessimistic picture for passage. Absent a major pressure campaign to push senators to support gun control legislation, the political calculus points against the Senate passing any reform. The infographic below details the various pressures senators face on a gun control vote. We've collapsed the factors into a single Gun Reform Index, where 10 is most likely to support gun reform and 0 is least likely. The index ranks each senator relative to other key senators within their own party. More details and explanation follow the graphic. (graphic by Amy Cesal and Alexander Furnas)Continue reading
When Vice President Joe Biden travels to Richmond, Va. today to participate in a roundtable about gun violence, he'll be visiting a state where the legislature largely has beaten back proposals to regulate guns, and where politicians have gotten $2.2 million in support from gun rights groups over the past two decades.
Most of that money—$2 million—came from the National Rifle Association, according to Sunlight Foundation's Influence Explorer. By contrast, groups that support stronger restrictions on guns, such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, reported spending a mere $183,000 in Virginia over ...Continue reading
Do campaign contributions affect the likelihood that a member of congress has publicly spoken out after the Sandy Hook School shooting? The answer appears to be yes, and by a lot. Our review found that a representative who received significant campaign support from the NRA was more likely to keep his or her mouth shut about the shooting -- speaking out at 2/3s the rate of an average member of congress.Continue reading
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.Continue reading