Texas Reps Have Taken Over $14 Million From Gun Rights Groups

Texas representatives in the 117th CongressMore money taken from gun rightsA new legislation allows for the creation of new groups that are more powerful than lawmakers in any other state. OpenSecretsAnalyse found.

Texas Senators and House Members have receivedOver the course of their careers, they received more than $14,000,000 in contributions from gun rights groups. Much of that came from the National Rifle Association.

Texas is also available ranks secondAmong the 19 states that were tracked by OpenSecretsFor state-level lobbying in Texas by gun rights groups that spent more than $3,000,000 between 2015 and 2021. The NRA spent more in Texas during that time on state-level lobbying than any other stateIn the 19 states that were tracked by OpenSecretsSpend more than $2.5 million

The NRA is also involved in grassroots organizing and advocacy efforts to demonstrate the Texas influence gun rights organizations have.

The NRA is holding its annual meeting this weekend in Houston — just a few hoursDrive from Uvalde Elementary School, Texas, where at most 19 children and two teachers were murdered in an attack. shootingTuesday

Multiple politicians are slated to speak at the event, which is expected to be the year’s largest for the gun lobby after previous events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the convention’s planned headliners — including Texas Gov. Greg AbbottcanceledAfter being criticised for taking money from NRA and continuing to plan to speak at the event, Abbott has made in-person appearances. Abbott will still address attendees in a prerecorded video message.

The NRA convention schedule also still includes multiple in-person appearances from politicians who have benefited from the gun rights group’s largesse, including Sen. Ted Cruz(R-Texas), and former President Donald Trump.

Trump is scheduled to headline a forum at the NRA’s annual meeting, and the NRA issued a notice telling attendees they will not be able to carry firearms, toy guns or “weapons of any kind” during the forum headlined by Trump.

Trump’s presidential election bids received significant financial support from the NRA. The gun rights group spent an unprecedented amount of money $54.4 million on 2016 federal elections, with most of that spending routed through the NRA’s flagship lobbying arm, a 501(c)(4)dark money” group that does not disclose its donors. Nearly all of the NRA’s 2016 spending went to boosting Trump’s presidential election.

Thought tax records show the main NRA lobbying arm’s revenue dipped down to about $282 million in 2020 after ending multiple years in the red, the group still poured tens of millions of dollars into influencing elections. The NRA spent $29 Million on 2020 federal elections. However, most of this money was used to support Trump in the months leading up to Election Day.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is slated to speak at the NRA’s annual meeting, is the top recipient of political contributions from gun rights interests, drawing about $749,000Over his career.

Gun rights interests have also contributed money to outside spending that has helped Cruz. About $122,000 of the more than $154,000 gun-rights interests spent on Cruz’s boosting since he was elected to Congress 2012, was funded by the NRA.

The NRA event schedule also includes a prerecorded video message by the Texas Governor. Greg Abbotta Republican with a long association with the gun rights advocacy group. Abbot has received more awards than $20,000Contributions from gun rights groups, with the majority coming from the NRA or the Texas State Rifle Association.

In June 2021, multiple members of NRA leadership — embattled NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and NRA president Carolyn Meadows — joined Abbott for a special bill signing ceremony for House Bill 1927, NRA-backed legislation that allows Texans to carry handguns for self-defense without a license from the state so long as they don’t have a criminal history.

Texas’ Republican attorney general, Ken Paxton, is scheduled to speak at this event.

Paxton wonTuesday’s GOP nomination against Texas Land Commissioner was a runoff George P. BushThe son of former Florida Governor. Jeb Bush. Paxton will be facing off against Rochelle Garza, a civil rights lawyer who won the Democratic nomination.

Paxton is running for reelection. indictmentfor felony securitiesfraud charges since 2015, but has pleaded guilty and is still awaiting trial. Paxton is also charged with felony securities fraud. reportedlyFBI investigating corruption allegations against Paxton. Texas State Bar is considering whether to bring legal action against Paxton. filingA lawsuitIn four states won in the presidential election, President challenged the results Joe Biden. The case was not heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

After the shooting, Paxton suggestedPossible solutions include arming teachers

Paxton has been a longtime champion for the firearms industry. The industry has in turn poured money into the controversial politician’s support.

The NRA, Texas State Rifle AssociationThe Gun Owners of America Political Victory FundAll of them have made political contributions to Paxton.

But Paxton’s relationship with gun rights interests goes far beyond money.

Paxton “welcomed” the NRA to Texas when the gun rights organization ​​filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcyIn January 2021, the attorney general of New York sought to restructure Texas and avoid New York legal action. New York’s attorney general began investigatingThe National Rifle Association2019: Corruption charges moved to dissolve2020 will see its 501(c),(4) nonprofit.

“The NRA has been instrumental in defending our Second Amendment rights and we would welcome them with open arms to relocate in Texas!,” Paxton tweetedAt the time.

Paxton signed up to an employment contract in April amicus brief supporting the NRA’s petitionIn partnership with California Rifle and Pistol Association asking the Supreme Court to hear Duncan v. Bonta, a case challenging California’s ban on magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.

Gun Money Crosses Party Lines

Contributions from gun rights organizations in the Lone Star State do not only concern Republicans.

Rep. Henry Cuellar(D-Texas), is one Democratic incumbent with a history with NRA.

Cuellar was challenged by a progressive opponent Jessica Cisneros on Tuesday in Texas’ primary. While Cuellar declaredHis victory is his leadThere were less than 200 votes cast and ballots are still being counted, so the race could be heading for a runoff. Cassy Garcia, a former aide of Sen. Ted Cruz(R-Texas), who won a runoff in her own primary Tuesday.

Since 2002, Cuellar has received tens to thousands of dollars from the NRA in donations and spending outside of Congress. The total amount of $31,669 is Cuellar’s total since 2002.

Most recently, Cuellar’s 2018 reelection campaign accepted $6,950 in donations from the NRA Political Victory Fund. A campaign spokesperson told CNBC that Cuellar doesn’t plan on giving the NRA’s money back or to charity, reportedly asking, “Why would he do that?”

Cuellar was rated A by the NRA when he entered the 2018 midterms. This rating was only three Democrats that received campaign contributions from NRA in that cycle. Cuellar’s rating fell to a C following he backedAn increase in background checks. Since the 2018 election cycle, the NRA has not given to him.

California’s Gun Control Debate: Both sides spend big

California ranks No. 1 for members of Congress who take money from gun control groups, with $968.754 in contributionsOver the course their careers, state lawmakers have taken money from both sides of an issue.

California and Texas are two of the largest states in America. Each state has more representatives in Congress that any other state. This means that they may be more likely cumulatively to attract more money.

These states have many legislators who are major recipients of gun group funds. In fact, the states were two of the top targets of gun rights groups’ lobbying spending in the 19 states that were tracked. OpenSecrets.

California ranks second among all 19 states. OpenSecretsNRA spent the most money on lobbying from 2015 to 2021. This was also the first time that gun rights groups lobbying took place during this period. From 2015 to 2021, gun rights groups spent more than $2.1 million lobbying in California with $811 899 of that spending being funded by the NRA.

California lawmakers have recently approved a package of gun control laws, including one sponsored in part by the Democratic Gov. Gavin NewsomThat uses the structure of Texas’ abortion banto crack down on illegal firearms.

Newsom opened the legislative session this year with a call to action inspired by Texas Republicans and the conservative majority on the nation’s highest court.

Californians would have the right to this law. sue manufacturers, sellers and distributors of illegal assault weapons, ghost guns and certain firearms and to collect at least $10,000 in civil damages per weapon — effectively putting a bounty on guns.

Other gun proposalsCalifornia bills include the following: ban the advertising of certain firearmsTo minors require school officials to report any “perceived threat” of a mass shooting to law enforcement, ban firearm salesProperty of the government compelIncrease security by firearm dealers