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“An Industry Stands In The Way”: Today’s NRA, A Gun Industry Trade Association Masquerading As A Shooting Sports Foundation

When the National Rifle Association holds its annual meeting next week in Indianapolis, it is inevitable that its leaders will demonize Michael Bloomberg and decry his $50 million investment in support of gun violence prevention. Yet throughout the convention there will be signs of the N.R.A.’s own multimillion-dollar donors: America’s gun industry. And that’s because today’s N.R.A. is, in reality, nothing more than a gun industry trade association masquerading as a shooting sports foundation. The organization’s agenda is increasingly focused on one goal: selling more guns.

Since 2005, as detailed in the Violence Policy Center’s 2013 study “Blood Money II: How Gun Industry Dollars Fund the NRA,” contributions from gun industry “corporate partners” to the N.R.A. have reached between $19.3 million and $60.2 million (the range is due to the giving levels defined within the N.R.A. donor program).

One of the N.R.A.’s corporate partners is Freedom Group, now rebranded as Remington Outdoor Company, manufacturer of the Bushmaster assault rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Another is Smith & Wesson, manufacturer of the semiautomatic assault rifle used in the July 2012 mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater and the pistol used in the recent Fort Hood shooting.

Just last month, during a visit to the company’s headquarters, Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A. executive vice president, was presented with a $600,000 check from Smith & Wesson’s chief executive, James Debney, who, in a company press release extolling the gift and lauding the N.R.A., stated: “Through its various programs, pro-gun reform legislation, and grass-roots efforts, the existence of the N.R.A. is crucial to the preservation of the shooting sports and to the entire firearms industry.”

The N.R.A. relies on these “corporate partners” for financial and ideological support. The victims of this lethal partnership are the businesses and institutions where shootings take place almost routinely — workplaces, shopping malls, theaters, schools and universities. Instead of, for the most part, remaining on the sidelines, these commercial and institutional entities should take a stand on preventing gun violence.

 

By: Josh Sugarman, Executive Director, Violence Policy Center; The New York Times, April 17, 2014

April 20, 2014 - Posted by | Gun Control, Gun Violence, National Rifle Association | , , , , , ,

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