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Whenever I give the National Rifle Association grief (e.g. an admonition for their recent decision to pull Dom Raso’s “guns for the blind” video) I try to remember that the NRA plays politics. That game requires long-term thinking, back-room dealing and, for us, unpalatable compromise. So when I read Gun lobby’s campaign donations drop in NY since passage of SAFE Act at (excerpt after the jump) that the NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation have cut contributions to New York’s pro-gun pols, I tried to think why they’d do such a thing. Lack of funds? Ha! No one worth supporting? That’s not hardball. A lost cause? That doesn’t seem possible but . . . what do you reckon? . . .

National pro-gun groups have largely holstered their checkbooks since the passage of Gov. Cuomo’s tough gun control law early last year.

The National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Federation, and gun manufacturers have donated just $33,893 to candidates in New York since the beginning of 2013, far less than in previous two-year election cycles, a Daily News review determined.

By comparison, the groups gave candidates a more robust $110,000 from 2011 through the end of 2012. That was before state lawmakers passed Cuomo’s controversial SAFE Act in January 2013, just a month after the Newtown, Conn. elementary school massacre . . .

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade group, hasn’t donated a dime to the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee since the gun law passed. The group gave $32,500 over the previous two years, records show.

Lawrence Keane, the group’s senior vice president, wouldn’t say whether passage of the gun law was behind the drop in donations.

“We don’t discuss campaign contributions,” he said . . .

The NRA had given the Senate Republican Campaign Committee $5,000 in 2012 but has not been active since. The organization did donate $10,000 to the state Conservative Party, which vehemently opposed the gun law, since last year.

[h/t DD]

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  1. Probably they feel like limited funds need to be spent on real contests, not faits accomplis where blue always wins. If this is true, I can understand it, but I don’t endorse it. Bloomberg rages on tilting at windmills. We cannot abandon the field.

    • “Bloomberg rages on tilting at windmills. We cannot abandon the field.”

      Yes, unfortunately. Such a horrible waste of time and money that could be better spent helping to make our nation more prosperous, but we didn’t start this war.

      • Umm, yeah. The NRA has sponsored litigation, but I suspect their political contributions are essentially nil in California. Hell, the California Republican Central Committee wouldn’t even support the republican candidate running against DiFi in the last election. Republicans and conservatives are simply out demographicked. The only battlefield left is in the courts.

        • Given that a third of the counties in the US are dying, demographically speaking, the CA situation will sooner or later be replicated in many other places that may seem “safe” at the moment, especially after the 2020 census. The pro-gun organizations have to seek additional ways to weaken the link between general conservatism and being pro-gun. It is possible that this is an impossible task, but if that is the case, the death of gun rights is the only possible eventual outcome for the whole country. Given that gun ownership has been diversifying lately, and given the stakes, it’s at least worth a serious try.

        • Mark N,

          I agree: there is no point in campaign contributions … apply that money to litigation instead.

  2. Yes and no.

    Getting the SAFE act repealed is going to have to happen in the courts, we will never get it done legislatively. The advantage the Dems have in the Assembly is far too large for the GOP to overcome, it would take a decade of massive turnout upstate to even get close. For as long as we are shackled to NYC, the D’s will control that chamber, and so no legislation to repeal SAFE will get through.

    The NRA and NSSF should be (hopefully ARE?) pouring money into NYSRPA to help them pay the legal bills for the court case. That is where the main fight is.

    That said, the D’s look likely to take over the state senate this year unless some drastic things change, and THAT could spell SAFE-2, and a whole raft of new anti-gun laws. So as pissed as the right might be at Skelos and the rest of the GOP leadership that sold us out, they are sadly our only hope against even MORE anti-gun legislation, and we should be doing everything in our power to prevent the D’s from regaining control of that chamber.

    Unfortunately, unless Preet can stick something on Dictator Cuomo in the next 2 months, I’m pretty sure the GOP will lose that chamber, and probably the Gov’s race as well. Stranger things have happened but all signs are pointing to a bad day for the GOP in November.

    • Yeah. I would rather the NRA put money into law suits (and supporting those brave enough to take on the task of fighting unconstitutional laws) than campaign contributions. Even though they don’t donate anything close to Bloomberg’s millions.

      • Did any of the NY Repubs even fight it? They probably voted for it. Why should NSSF give them any money after that betrayal? Are there even any candidates running on repealing it?

  3. I’d say it’s a combination of the second and third options there. While the NRA’s not exactly hurting for cash, they don’t have a bottomless pit of money to throw at an election where they’re not likely to win, or whom they don’t fully endorse.

  4. As a resident of Upstate NY I can unequivocally say that the NRA, NSSF, GOA, 2nd Amendment Foundation, etc… have all abandoned us here in NYS. They will fight and win in places that no one thought they could make a difference like in CA, Chicago, and DC but are leaving us in NYS without any support. NYSRPA the NYS chapter of the NRA has spent over $300,000 on their lawsuit against the SAFE act and the NRA has done nothing to help them. Every time it is brought up, NYSRPA says that the NRA will get involved “at the right time.” Well the right time is NOW!

    • The best thing to do is to let the Dems have it. All of it. Every republican in NY should re-register as Democrats, then vote-in the Wackiest leftists they can find prior to moving to TX. If you want to do your state some good, get THAT movement started. If you’re a conservative, there are states who will welcome you with open arms. You’ll get to keep more of you wages and own the guns you want to own.

      If you guys allowed NY to be 100% Democrat for even five years, it would be a self-correcting problem.

  5. When the Republican leader in the NY Senate says, with a straight face, that the SAFE Act was a good compromise that “respects the Second Amendment”–well, who is a real gun-rights advocate going to give money to?

  6. Dear NYS GOP Members:

    if you cannot produce results, why do you think you should keep receiving $$$ ?



  7. One point from the article: Pierce Munitions (Ted Nugent ammo makers) donated $7500 to Cuomo’s re-election campaign, 6 months after passage of the SAFE Act. Shameful.

    • I saw the Ted Nugent ammo reference also. What kindof surprises me is that Uncle Ted, genuine 100% Patriot and all American …. hasn’t said a word about HIS endorsement of and business relationship with these scumbags who are supporting Gov. Cuomo.

    • Yeah, this is the real kicker of the article to me. Why someone would do that is waaayyy beyond me. I’ve seen a couple of spins put on this. First was the owner suggesting that the donation was unauthorized and the offending donator was fired (this is only hearsay at this point). Second, the owner said via email that he did it as a way to help his business grow (presumably through tax breaks or a State contract). Since the CEO and COO are brothers, it’s not likely the former is really the case.

      Either way, I wouldn’t suggest buying their ammo. If they are stupid enough to think this would help their business grow, who knows what happens when you pull the trigger.

      • Their explanation on Facebook:
        The donation was given in support of the Buffalo Billion pledge that Governor Cuomo made for Western New York. Because our area has been traditionally depressed economically, this has brought on a building renaissance in Buffalo. As a small, start up company in the Buffalo region, we support other entrepreneurs and initiatives that grow our region, helping to employ our friends and family. 

        Hahahahaha, ass-covering mode, switched ON.

  8. The NRA and other groups had abandoned NY before the SAFE Act anyway. Nobody was really fighting against the old AWB, mag limits, and other restrictions that were in place before. Unless something happens in the courts, or NYC is spun off into its own state, we’re pretty much screwed here in NY.

    Even if Republicans take the governors office and both legislative bodies, there are too many of them that are anti gun.

    • +1

      The Sullivan Act (licensing for pistols in NY) has been law for over 100 years and neither the NRA or NSSF ever challenged that law nor the AWB that “Republican” Governor Pataki continued after the national AWB expired. And folks wonder why I won’t join the NRA…

      BTW, NY now has the largest chapter of the NRA. That’s a lot of money NOT coming back in to the state. Thanks for everything NRA!

  9. Lost cause. What’s the point? Gun owners, libertarians and conservatives just need to move out to greener pastures. Let the liberals and statists have it. We need to focus on red states, starting from center right and pushing them further towards the libertarian agenda. Those free states will do so well that they will continue to entice the like-minded away from dystopias like NY. Over time, the slave states will implode and all the voters who stayed behind will get exactly what they deserve… on a number of levels. Votes have consequences. They dug those graves so can lay in them. I look forward to the day when those states go the way of Detroit. F*ck em.

    Blowing dollars on states like NY is money wasted. Spend that money in places like Colorado , Pennsylvania and Virginia that aren’t completely lost.

    • Whenever I read one of these idiot ‘just move’ and ‘elections have consequences’ posts, I get a little more pissed, and this one was the limit. I usually try to write reasoned responses not based on emotion, but enough is e-goddamned-nuff. Fuck us? Fuck YOU. “Durr, just move, durr.” I was born and raised in NY, lived most of my life here, my family is here, my friends are here, my professional life and reputation are here. How about YOU move HERE and help us fight the good fight against tyranny, you chickenshit? I give money, I go to rallies, I write my state senators and assemblymen, I’ve spoken in legislative sessions and do what I can to convince my fellow NYS-ers that the SAFE act and it’s legislative ilk do far more harm than good. Lately I’ve been speaking out about a ballot proposal which would end up enshrining the way legislative districts are drawn up in NYS. (It matters, because in the last 3,000 legislative elections when an incumbent is running, only 55 incumbents have been defeated. Elections DON’T have consequences in NYS, because they’re foregone conclusions, but you wouldn’t know about that, shit-for-brains.) But no, I should just leave it to the liberals and statists! Good thing you weren’t in charge in the ’40s. Hell, just leave Europe to the Nazis! Those Jews voted ’em in and dug their grave, let them lay in it! Leave all those who are financially unable to move to be prey for those who don’t follow the laws. It’s so much easier to just leave than to do the right thing and fight to make a better state for all. The next time you want to open your goddamn stupid mouth, do us all a favor and get hit by a truck.

      • LOL. Why don’t you cry some more about it.

        I actually wasn’t talking about you or other pro-gun New Yorkers, you classy gentleman you. I was talking about the legions of libs who have ruined your state. Beyond repair, BTW.

        Oh and, FYI I relocated from the Northeast to TX because I wanted to be able to believe in my State. All of my family and friends? I visit a few times a year. Beyond that I forged a new family with new friends here. As a bonus, one by one I’m drawing people down to TX. So I’ve walked the walk, sorry if you lack the constitution to do the same. Based on that reply, it’s no wonder.

        You stay classy.

      • I just re-read your post and it actually made me laugh harder the second time. I’m hoping TTAG staff misses your rampant flaming. It wouldn’t be NEARLY as funny without that singular wit of yours.

        However, all kidding aside, I suspect that I’m just a target of convenience. The real issue here is that it sucks a WHOLE lot to live in NY these days. The idea that people actually pick up and ditch the place is probably VERY frustrating to those who want to keep fighting and/or don’t have the means/will to leave. In that sense, despite your desire to see me killed by a truck, you have my sympathies.

  10. What they ought to do is issue an official statement along the lines of, “Freedom is dead in States like New York and California. Rather than continue to fight an uphill battle, we abandon those States to the Reds so we can focus on holding our ground in the remaining States. We advise all freedom-loving Americans – citizens and businesses alike – to follow suit and abandon any and all communist strongholds.”

    People talk tough when it’s just talk, but when it comes time to withdraw your consent and get the hell out of The People’s Demokratik Republik of Dumbfuckistan, all of a sudden it’s some kind of hardship to seek liberty.

    Communism has a serious disadvantage: For their redistribution schemes to work, it requires “haves” to keep providing to the “have-nots”. If all the “haves” pick up and go, their Communist bureaucracies will crumble around them.

    • Try explaining that to Ninja Ted and he’ll tell you to go get hit by a bus. LOL. Not exactly dispelling any NY stereotypes.

  11. Interestingly enough, in CA when we had the Roberti-Roos AWB 1989, the NRA lobbied to get that thing repealed. It was the CA Republicants that lost their spine and pulled their support for the effort and the movement lost votes, thus support.

  12. The state Senate Republican Campaign Committee deserves no support. They could have stopped the SAFE act but didn’t. They stabbed gun owners in the back. The few that opposed it deserve support, but the rest… They all need to go. Besides once you cross the bridges they’re all just shades of democrats anyway. Any NY 2A supporter that doesn’t know who Rob Astorino and Chris Moss are needs to get with it and do everything we can to vote out Cuomo.

  13. My experience with the NRA has been somewhat frustrating. Years ago they championed my then congressman who was a far left Dem because he voted ‘the right way’ on gun legislation. When they subsequently caught me on the phone on a fund drive I mentioned I had seen this man address a room full of angry ‘progressives’ calling him to account for his gun votes. He laughed it off outright and said it didn’t matter how he voted because they would simply regulate firearms out of existence slowly. The NRA reaction was essentially that I needed to write them a check immediately and, oh yeah, vote for that schmo again. I’m still a member, although for some reason after the remainder of that call they don’t try and reach me by phone. That kind of thinking gets Harry Reid an A+ rating. The drive for total civilian disarmament is alive and well and it’s hard to see how continuously empowering die hard statists helps the RKBA.

  14. This Upstater let his NRA contributions dribble down to nothing. Nationally I actually think the NRA doesn’t want to win, they rather perpetuate the debate because it keeps the donations up.

    The funny thing is that I used to be a FUDD, now I’m an absolutionist. Thank Barry and Coumo for that.

  15. We need a pro second amendment president that is the single most important objective a pro 2a POTUS will allow us to start to undo the decades of anti gun judges then we can win in the courts in places like new York

  16. Really, there is a point where you’ve got to realise something is a lost cause, and this is New York to gun rights. Politically, nothing. Bloomberg has more than enough money to pay off the right people. People, nothing. Enough people have been brainwashed by the antis to close off that avenue. You’ve only got the courts left, but even the NRA aren’t stupid enough to get stuck in that minefield.

  17. There is already SCOTUS president for no one adhearing to any gun laws passed by any state, county, or municipality. Murdock v Pennsylvania and Shuttleworth v city of Birmingham stated the following: No state shall turn a right into a privelege, license it and charge a fee therefore and if a state does try to turn a right into a privelege the citizen can ignore the laws and engage in the right with impunity. The compromises and support for licensing by the NRA indicates they have no idea what the 2nd says or means. If they did they would make a public pronouncement that 70 million gun owners will never adhere to any gun laws that apply to honest non felonious citizens, and that the NRA will defend in court, and the citizens will defend with force of arms, any attempt by any govt entity to infringe said right.

  18. I’ve seen some NULLIFICATION talk at the state and county levels of late. Sort of like beginning to organize the spontaneous Resistance in NY, NJ, CT and MD of late.


  19. If you kept going to the same mechanic time after time and your car was returned broken time after time, I think that you’d stop paying him and move on. Why should the NRA and the NSSF be any different?

    I would rather have the NRA spend my money where it might do some good. Maybe New Yorkers need to fix their own problems.

  20. I really don’t understand the “lost cause” mentality and the “every single gun owner can just move to tx” notion.

    Giving up ground that seems “lost” is allowing incrementalism and the creep of anti gun normalcy.

    No, we won’t be able to convert NY to TX. But writing entire states off is dangerous.

    • Because it’s much easier to be smug and sanctimonious from the safety of your couch far from the front lines and in no real danger of having to fight. And possibly, lose. Lost cause or not, it’s worth fighting for.

    • What I don’t understand is why the NRA and others have essentially abandoned the few blue states and instead are focusing their attention on other, much more gun friendly states. Maybe 40+ states have gun laws that rank somewhere between decent to excellent, while NY, NJ, CT and other blue states have enacted nothing but bans and restrictions on top of restrictions. It’s easy for the NRA to do business in places like Texas, Utah or Indiana, and it seems they only want to deal with those states. I’m not saying they are not needed there, but they could shift their focus to the handful of blue states with progressively worse gun laws being passed each year. They sure seem to have the resources for it. But they are not doing that, they’d rather stay cozy in the already gun friendly states. They seem very reluctant to venture into the ‘ban’ state territory.

      If as Ralph said, the NRA abandoned pro-gun politicians in the blue states because they get very little return (if any) on their money, why should I support the NRA and give them my money if I don’t see ANY return on my investment here in NJ? That is why each time my NRA membership is about to lapse I have a hard time justifying why I should stay and keep paying dues.

    • Because the rest of us are trying to hold onto and expand our own rights. Think about it:

      Do you actually believe that that money will make a difference in NY? CT? MA? CA?

      Or, should we focus on states that still have a prayer (CO) and that are on the road to recovery (TX)?

      TX, GA, MO, MT and other like-minded states are incrementally ridding themselves of infringment. But here’s the deal Michelle: our hard-fought gains are also a win for you. RKBA normalization will not *ever* happen organically in today’s NY. It just ISN’T going to happen. If you think it is, you’re naive. But do you know where it is happening? States like TX. Over time, anti-RKBA states won’t be able to justify their laws anymore because the liberties that we enjoy in the free states will outshine slave state oppression. It’s already happening. The very premise of gun control is already dead: more guns DO NOT equal more crime, quantifiable fact, period. Gunmen are NOT running amok, blood is NOT running in the streets. We need only fortify liberty where it thrives. THAT is how normalization will occur; not from within, but from without.

      I say this as someone who made the conscious choice to relocate from the Northeast to TX SPECIFICALLY because I disagreed with the politics of the Northeast. Even in my native PA, a veritable gun-lover’s paradise compared to NY, the gun laws are MASSIVLEY f*cked up.

      TX need only adopt open carry of pistols, and that day is coming. Righteth soon.

  21. Fighting every fight only works with unlimited resources. They have to prioritize to where they think it will do the most good.

  22. Why have NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation cut contributions to New York’s pro-gun pols?

    My guess: there is no benefit so why continue?

    Explanation: in spite of their contributions in previous years, New York nevertheless had the most onerous laws in the nation for law-abiding gun owners. And then New York passed their “SAFE Act” by a wide margin. In the simplest of terms, throwing money at the problem did not accomplish anything. So why would any sane person or organization continue to throw money at the problem?

    If I were running those organizations, I would try to achieve a large and safe majority of pro-liberty politicians in 40 of our states and then demand a U.S. Constitutional amendment that straightens this out once and for all. My amendment would spell out in no uncertain terms that “public safety”, “government interest”, and “interstate commerce” are not justifiable reasons to infringe on our rights. I would also spell out that government cannot limit or tax calibers, magazine capacities, ammunition designs (e.g. full metal jacket or hollowpoint bullets), barrel lengths, or any other accessory such as suppressors. Finally, I would state that government cannot limit method of carry, such as concealed versus open, in cases or cars, loaded or unloaded, etc.

  23. Are there any real pro-gun politicians to donate to. I don’t live up there, but I keep hearing comments from RINOs that I would put as anti-gun. If you have those that are only pro-gun during election, but anti-gun when they vote why would you give them donations.

  24. Sorry I wouldn’t give a plug nickel to anyone in the Northeast.
    If the residents aren’t happy there LEAVE.
    Better yet get off their collective buttz and VOTE.
    I left NY anyone can.

  25. Would you rather spend your hard earned money on a lottery where you had a 50% chance of winning or on one where you had a 5% chance of winning? I know all the different fight for freedom are important and each one affects us. The NRA is probably just trying to focus more on the fights that they have a better chance of winning. (like getting CO back)

  26. wow thanks for the support everyone. upstaters are in a fury over the safe act and this election cycle would be the best chance we have to harness that anger while fire is still hot. as has been said by many in states that are going down the tubes not everyone can leave because of family, jobs, friends, etc. not to mention the economy in ny sucks making it that much harder to save up enough to get out. really disgusted with alot of these comments. maybe throwing money directly to candidates isnt the way to go but now is the time to launch some sort of campaign to bring awareness to the f*ckery that went on here.

  27. NRA has to pick and choose battles it can win. NY Senate stabbed the populace in the back and very few are worthy of support. The NRA is fighting in border areas where there is a chance of victory.

  28. It takes more than NRA money to change things, residents need to step up. Everyone knows what has to be done but if enough people don’t act then what difference does it make?

  29. I can’t tell what’s more disheartening, the original article or all the commenters here throwing a very angry resistance to the SAFE Act under the bus because our political geography happens to shaft us. Yeah, I get it. Move. It ain’t that goddamn simple, and your shitty attitudes are leaving more and more of the country to become Constitution-free zones.

    And fellow gunnies wonder why my money goes to local clubs and SAF or GOA over the NRA. I have no money for “gun rights” orgs that will abandon us where they’re needed most when the political winds aren’t in their favor.

  30. The NRA hasn’t exactly abandoned NY State…not sure about other organizations. The NY State Rifle and Pistol Association IS the state branch of the NRA and they are contributing to the lawsuit(s) against the un-SAFE Act. SCOPE (Shooters Committee On Political Education), is a home-grown NY state organization that also pushes for repeal of Gov. Cuomo’s monarchal overreach. SCOPE continues to sponsor and support local candidates for office who are pro-2A and Oath Keepers. SCOPE is also helping fund a separate lawsuit to counter the un-SAFE Act. The reason money from the large national gun rights organizations is down to a trickle is simple – too many RINOs in the Albany Legislature. Led by Dean Skelos, the majority of State Senators caved in to Cuomo’s blackmail. The Legislature is lopsidedly liberal-leftist, as most members of that body come from the heavily populated (read liberal) areas of New York – those areas generally are the greater NYC/Long Island area, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. There is a lot more to NY State than those five major cities! As some others have stated, it is easy to say “Get out of NY” and another thing to do so. Those that have the where-with-all to move out, I am happy for you. Wish you’d have stayed and helped to fight the good fight. Most of us cannot afford to move or have too many other vested interests (job, family, etc), to just pick up and move. I may yet pull up stakes and seek a new home, but I like upstate NY and don’t wish to see it become any worse than it is now. At some point each of us must take a stand. For now, I will make my stand here.

  31. Now suppose you have a vested interest in something (i.e. dollars and membership or gun & ammo control) and you had the opportunity to keep a money maker going. Would you do it?

    Is it not in a politicians best interest to create and promote controversy?

    Just asking.

  32. Or are they just keeping business up by supporting the losing side. It’s all about litigation isn’t it?

    Don’t want to lose the income stream before they milk it dry!

  33. NY is not a battle that the NRA and NSSF can win politically. The most recent polling data I could find showed that over 70% of NY voters support the SAFE Act and NYers who have a negative opinion of the NRA outnumber those with a positive one more than 2 to 1. If the battle for 2A rights in NY is to be won anytime soon it is going to be won in the courts, which is why it baffles me that we haven’t seen challenges to things like ‘safe storage’ requirements that blatantly violate Heller and won’t issue CCW permits.


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