WASHINGTON (CIRCA) - The National Rifle Association’s (NRA) political action fund set a 21st-century fundraising record following the recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla., according to federal records.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show the NRA’s Political Victory Fund raised $2.4 million in donations in March.
The data – which The Washington Post first reported on Tuesday – illustrates that $1.9 million of that total came from small donations of $200 or less.
Such small donations subsequently account for about 80 percent of the political action committee’s March haul.
The committee releases the NRA’s influential legislative scorecards, and it also spends money on behalf of candidates and campaigns during elections.
The fund represents only a fraction, however, of the NRA’s overall fundraising, lobbying and political spending power.
On Feb. 14th, 17 students & teachers were killed in another senseless act of gun violence.— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) April 24, 2018
In March, the @NRA posted its best fundraising month in 15 years.
The NRA is NOT a civil rights organization; it’s a fundraiser for gun manufacturers trying to protect their interests.
The NRA spent tens of millions of dollars overall at the federal and state levels in 2016, for example, while the fund took in more than $11 million the same year.
March’s surge in donations came one month after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 17 people and wounding 17 more.
The bloodshed inspired many survivors of the attack to begin publicly advocating for stricter gun control measures.
The NRA’s fundraising in the month immediately afterwards suggests that many gun-rights supporters are concerned about changes to America’s policy landscape after the shooting.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, has since been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder relating to the massacre.
Renewed national debate over gun violence will likely play a role in the 2018 congressional elections.
Parkland survivors and the NRA are both hoping to elect lawmakers who share their views on firearms.
The NRA does not publicly release its membership data, but the group presently claims about 5 million members.