As the midterm elections near, a political battle is being fought and it’s pitting firearms owners afraid of losing their rights against moms tired of seeing gun violence in their schools and in the news.
Gun control groups recently vowed to match campaign dollars spent by the National Rifle Association and both sides have released their political endorsements.
Everytown for Gun Safety, backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, last week released a list of its candidates and the NRA has an extensive database with thousands of its picks, most of which are graded on their gun-friendliness.
Guns.com reviewed the endorsements and discovered an overlap. Staci Appel, running for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, and Valerie Longhurst, for Delaware’s 15th, were the only two candidates both endorsed by Everytown and given a passing grade by the NRA. Both candidates are Democrats and also could not be reached for comment after several attempts by email, phone and social media.
On the issue of guns, Appel has voted in favor of permitted concealed carry and against firearms possession for domestic abuse perpetrators. She was also against campus police carrying guns.
Longhurst co-sponsored a bill prohibiting individuals with certain mental health conditions from having a firearm and is a proponent of hunting license restrictions for felons.
Appel and Longhurst weren’t unique in that several thousand Democrats nationwide were given a passing grade by the NRA. But just because the gun rights organization gave them the nod — many of whom received As and Bs — the NRA has still spent some $6.9 million against Democrats, while shelling out approximately $9.23 million on advancing Republicans, for a total of more than $16 million so far this term, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Bloomberg said he plans on putting $50 million into curbing gun violence, his first political investment since leaving office last year.
Americans for Responsible Solutions, run by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, has spent $8.5 million from a $17.5 million war chest, of which $2 million was spent against Republicans, $374,000 for Republicans and $161,000 for Democrats.
Outside groups have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the house and senate contests across the country. North Carolina’s senate race has seen the largest influx of cash, with an estimated $41 million being spent on candidates there.
NRA-backed Republican Tom Tillis is squaring off against Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, who was endorsed by Everytown and has raised more than $18 million.
Though Hagan introduced a hunting bill controversial within her own party and lauded by most gun-rights groups, including the NRA, she still received a D.