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NRA Has Spent Millions on Senators Opposing Gun Regulations

by Mark Murray and Emma Kinery /
Image: At the NRA convention
A six-shot revolver is placed on display in the NRA convention's exhibit hall.Jacob Byk / News21

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The National Rifle Association has spent a total of $37 million in support of the U.S. senators who voted last December against an amendment prohibiting those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms, according to an analysis of data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Of the 54 senators who opposed the measure, all but one were Republican — the exception being Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. (Heitkamp has not received NRA support.)

The biggest recipients over their careers are Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., (at $7.7 million); Thom Tillis, R-N.C. ($4.4 million); and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., ($3.9 million)

And the NRA has spent a total of $27 million in support of the 50 Republican senators who voted against an amendment last December requiring universal background checks for gun purchases.

That amount was first reported by Mic.

An earlier version of this article did not clearly state Sen. Heitkamp’s campaign finance record. She did vote against the amendment in question but has not received campaign donations from the NRA.

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