NRA and Some of Its Board Members Have Direct Financial Interests in Stopping Ban on High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Rob Lamontagne, 202-822-8200 x110, press@vpc.org

NRA and Some of Its Board Members Have Direct Financial Interests in Stopping Ban on High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines

WASHINGTON - Board members of the National Rifle Association and
its affiliated organization the NRA Foundation, as well as the NRA's
lobbying division, have a financial interest in allowing the continued sale of
high-capacity ammunition magazines like those used in the Arizona mass shooting according to a
just-released investigation by the Washington, DC-based Center for Public
Integrity (CPI). The article, "High-Capacity Magazine Sellers Raise
Millions for NRA," is available at http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/2839/.

Following release of the CPI investigation, Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence
Policy Center (VPC), stated, "The NRA's opposition to a ban on
high-capacity magazines isn't about protecting millions of gun owners,
but protecting millions of dollars for its board members and itself. 
Given that the NRA's coffers benefit directly from the sale of
high-capacity ammunition magazines, it's easy to understand why the NRA
opposes any proposal to regulate them."

The Center for Public Integrity investigation, with
subsequent additional research by the Violence Policy
Center, reveals the
following.

--NRA board member Pete
Brownell owns Brownells Inc., which sells a wide-range of high-capacity
ammunition magazines for pistols and assault weapons, including the same
capacity Glock magazine as the 33-round magazine used in the Arizona shooting.  Brownells also manufactures
high-capacity ammunition magazines. 

On his website supporting his campaign to join the
NRA's board, Brownell states, "Having directors who intimately
understand and work in leadership positions within the firearms industry
ensures the NRA's focus is honed on the overall mission of the
organization.  These individuals bring a keen sense of the industry and of
the bigger fight to the table."  Brownells, which describes
itself as the "world's largest supplier of firearms accessories and
gunsmithing tools" also sponsors the NRA's National Youth
Shooting Sports Ambassadors.

--Brenda Potterfield serves as
vice-president of the NRA Foundation's board of trustees and is co-owner
of MidwayUSA, which through its "Round-Up" program has raised
millions of dollars for the NRA's lobbying arm, the Institute for
Legislative Action (ILA). 

Like Brownells, MidwayUSA sells a wide range of
high-capacity ammunition magazines for pistols and assault weapons, including
33-round magazines for Glock pistols. The Potterfields are the founders of the
NRA "Round-Up' Program, which since 1992 has asked customers
"to ‘Round-Up' the total of each order and donate the change
to the NRA/ILA."  Since the program's inception, MidwayUSA has
collected more than $5.7 million for the NRA's lobbying efforts.  On
its website, MidwayUSA states that other "shooting industry"
companies have followed their lead, resulting in a total of more than 7.5
million dollars contributed to the NRA from "shooting industry"
companies (MidwayUSA and others) since 1992.  MidwayUSA claims to stock,
"Just about everything for shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and
hunting." 

--NRA board member Ronnie Barrett owns
Barrett, which manufactures an AR-15 style assault rifle which comes with two
30-round ammunition magazines. 

Ronnie Barrett is best known for the invention and civilian
marketing of the 50 caliber sniper rifle: a military weapon used by U.S. troops in Iraq
and Afghanistan
that can penetrate armor-plating from a mile away and down airliners on
take-off and landing, but under federal law is sold with no greater
restrictions than a standard hunting rifle.  Barrett also manufacturers
and sells the REC7, an AR-15 style assault rifle that comes with two 30-round
magazines. 

Also today, the Violence
Policy Center
released a report, "Accessories to Murder," which shows the variety
of high-capacity magazines the gun industry currently markets to its shrinking
customer base. (Read "Accessories to Murder: High-Capacity Ammunition
Magazines," at http://www.vpc.org/studies/accessories.pdf.)

Last week, the VPC released a report on high-capacity
magazines used in 10 of America's
most notorious mass shootings. (Read "Ten Examples of High-Profile Mass
Shootings in the United States Involving High-Capacity Ammunition
Magazines," at http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/VPCshootinglist.pdf).

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The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt educational organization working for a safer America through research, investigation, analysis, and advocacy. The VPC provides information to policymakers, journalists, organizations, advocates, and the general public.

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