NRA’s Gun Rights Message Not Slowed by Legal, Money Troubles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberals have cheered the highly public legal and financial jeopardy ensnaring the National Rifle Association, seeing the gun lobby’s potential demise as the path to stricter firearms laws. But, it turns out, the NRA’s message has become so solidified in the Republican Party that even if the organization implodes from allegations of lavish spending and misuse of funds, its unapologetic pro-gun point of view will live on, as the heated debate increasingly shifts from Washington to the states. Not even the shift in power to Democrats in the White House and Congress has been enough to push through new federal restrictions, and states continue to pass laws with far-reaching protections for gun owners. Ever confident, the NRA, which is based in Fairfax, Virginia , says the suggestion it is receding is magical thinking on the left. The group promises it will emerge from its failed bankruptcy effort stronger, particularly as it seeks to relocate to the decidedly pro-gun rights state of Texas . The durable nature of the NRA’s clout is an exemplar of how difficult it is to claw back control from an entrenched lobbying powerhouse that has planted deep roots in the American political system with money, organization and relentless messaging. “The NRA built up an impressive mountain of power over the course of 40 years. And despite their recent fall from grace, that power doesn’t disappear overnight,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in an interview. Not to say there is no hope for […]

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