A new report released by the Violence Policy Center entitled Blood Money II: How Gun Industry Dollars Fund the NRA (pdf) disproves the NRA’s claim that it receives no money from the gun industry. The NRA has received at least $1 million from the Freedom Group, which manufactured the Bushmaster assault weapon used in the December 2013 mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
At the annual meeting of the NRA in May 2013, the Freedom Group was inducted into the NRA’s “Golden Ring of Freedom” which is reserved for those groups that have “given gifts of cash totaling $1,000,000 or more.”
Another inductee, according to the VPC, was Smith & Wesson, which manufactured the assault weapon that was used in the July 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
Each inductee into the Golden Ring of Freedom is presented with a golden sports coat emblazoned with the “Golden Ring of Freedom crest” on its pocket. According to an official NRA publication acquired by the VPC, at the 2013 meeting held in Houston, “upon receiving their jackets, each inductee took their turn at what has become a joyous—and loud—Golden Ring of Freedom custom: the ringing of the ‘Freedom’ bell.”
According to an executive director of the VPC, Josh Sugarmann, “[l]ess than five months after the tragedy in Newtown, while families and the entire community still mourned, the NRA was celebrating its financial ties to the manufacturer of the assault rifle used in the shooting. In the wake of declining household gun ownership, the NRA has turned to the funder of last resort: the gun industry itself.”
The full version of the report can be read here (pdf).
[“Wayne LaPierre via AFP]