The nation’s top gun rights advocacy group is pushing back on President Biden’s efforts to rein in gun rights following a series of mass shootings, pledging to spend millions on “fighting and educating lawmakers” in Washington.
The National Rifle Association said it will spend $2 million on TV and digital ads, mail, outreach and town halls in the coming weeks to counter legislation passed by the House and sitting in the Senate.
Word of the NRA’s planned million-dollar campaign comes as the organization is in the middle of the third week of its trial over the organization’s January bankruptcy filing and allegations of spending abuses by the group’s leadership brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
In a press conference last week, Biden told reporters, “I strongly, strongly urge my Republican friends in the Congress who refuse to bring up the House-passed bill to bring it up now.”
“This has to end. It’s a national embarrassment,” he added.
Biden said that even gun owners support gun control measures – a statement at odds with the NRA’s recent investment.
The president further alarmed the gun group when he named former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent David Chipman turned senior policy adviser to gun-violence prevention group Giffords, to head the ATF.
“The NRA is all-in on this fight,” NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter told Fox News. “We will fight Chipman’s nomination and the bad bills that now are in the Senate.”
At least 12 states will be targets for the NRA campaign, but the group told Fox News that they are prepared to spend more, should they need to.
The push for gun control measures by Democrats has again resurfaced following a violent series of mass shootings in California, Colorado, Georgia and Indiana.
Gun violence was not widely reported throughout 2020 as the U.S. suffered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and massive protests that swept the nation which kept human interaction at a minimum.
But the U.S. had one of the deadliest years on record in 2020 from gun violence, first reported by the Washington Post, with nearly 20,000 firearm-related deaths and another 24,000 suicide by gun-related deaths.
Biden said he would target assault weapons, vowing to push through similar legislation banning these firearms in a now-expired 1994 assault weapons ban.
“Who in God’s name needs a weapon that can hold 100 rounds, or 40 rounds, or 20 rounds,” Biden said Friday. “It’s just wrong. And I’m not going to give up until it’s done.”
The NRA remains fervently opposed to a firearms ban, calling it a constitutional violation on “law-abiding gun owners.”
“We will continue to respond to threats as they come and we anticipate a very active spring and summer,” Hunter said.
Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.