NRA membership hasn’t grown in eight years. In 2020, it mustered only about half of what it spent in 2016 to elect Donald Trump. Leaked financial documents indicate that its revenue dropped by more than $80 million over those same four years.
The group also just failed in its attempt to declare bankruptcy and faces a dissolution suit filed by New York’s attorney general, stemming from corruption accusations against its executives, including CEO Wayne LaPierre. The attorney general recently filed a 187-page amended complaint outlining dozens more allegations brought to light during the bankruptcy proceedings. The NRA has even started to argue in court filings that the allegations against LaPierre should not be held against the group at large if they are found to be true.
Even so, Democratic leaders can’t seem to pass the gun policies they want.
And it isn’t because of the filibuster, either. The Democrats can’t get bare majorities to support their top gun priorities. They haven’t passed an assault-weapons ban since retaking the House in 2018. They’re unlikely to pass one or even bring it up for a vote before the 2022 midterms. And even if it passed the House, it wouldn’t pass the Senate.
The deadlock isn’t the result of the NRA paying off politicians to vote against the wishes of their constituents. It’s much simpler than that: Many people in this country own guns, and millions of them are dedicated voters. And they are what now stand in the way of new gun laws.
— Stephen Gutowski in Why Can’t Democrats Pass Gun Control?