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APRIL  27, 1999  11:37 AM
Common Cause
Jeff Cronin or John Anthony, 202-736-5770
National Rifle Association Gives Large Amounts of Soft and PAC Money
WASHINGTON - April 27 - The National Rifle Association (NRA), which will likely face gun control legislation in Congress, has spent nearly $8.4 million on political contributions to congressional candidates and national party committees since 1989.

More than 78 percent of that total -- $6,576,114 -- was given to Republicans, compared to only $1,794,320 given to Democrats during the period, according to a Common Cause analysis released today.

In the past several years, Congress has been unwilling to pass substantial gun control legislation. The last significant gun control bills -- the Brady Act and the Assault Weapons Ban -- were passed by Congress in 1993 and 1994, respectively. However, several members who support gun control legislation said they believe the climate may be changing.

In addition, the Clinton administration announced that it plans to send a package of gun control measures to Congress within two weeks. Administration officials are considering extending the Brady Act to juveniles, making it illegal for those convicted of violent crimes as juveniles to possess guns, according to The Associated Press. The current ban applies only to adult convictions.

In recent months, the NRA's efforts both nationally and in the states have been focused on passing legislation concerning concealed weapons, prohibiting local governments from suing gun manufacturers, and preventing waiting periods and other restrictions on handgun purchases.

"Thanks to large PAC and soft money contributions, the NRA has been successful in thwarting gun control efforts in Congress and across the country," Common Cause President Ann McBride said.

The nation's largest lobbying organization for gun owners has been a large political donor throughout the decade, giving more than $1.5 million in every election cycle since 1991. The group has given a total $7,524,409 in PAC contributions to congressional candidates and $846,025 in soft money to national party committees since 1989.

Democrats Republicans
Year PAC Money Soft Money PAC Money Soft Money Total
1989-90 $263,708 $0 $475,135 $100,000 $838,843
1991-92 604,392 0 1,129,104 300 1,733,796
1993-94 377,920 0 1,475,118 308,000 2,161,038
1995-96 262,600 0 1,303,221 87,725 1,653,546
1997-98 285,700 0 1,347,511 350,000 1,983,211
Total $1,794,320 $0 $5,730,089 $846,025 $8,370,434

Campaign contribution figures are based on reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). PAC contribution figures are based on reports of their contributions to federal candidates, and soft money figures are based on national political party committee reports of their non-federal, or soft money, accounts from Jan. 1, 1989 through Dec. 31, 1998.

1/1/89 through 12/31/98

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska/At Large) $45,350
Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif./51) $44,600
Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif./4) $43,750
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va./1) $43,100
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va./3) $42,350
Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind./6) $40,850
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va./9) $40,150
Rep. Earl Hilliard (D-Ala./7) $40,150
Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C./11) $40,150
Rep. Pat Danner (D-Mo./6) $36,650


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