Common Cause Petitioning Lawmakers to Return Gun Lobby Donations

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  • Scott Swenson, Dale Eisman
Drive Led by National Chair Robert Reich Cites $100+ Million in 'Independent Expenditures' and Lobbying

Common Cause and its national chair, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, launched a national effort on Friday to pressure members of Congress to return campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.

In an online petition being circulated by Common Cause through MoveOn.org., Reich notes that the NRA invested $28 million last year in “independent expenditures” aimed at supporting some candidates and defeating others. Since 2000, pro-gun groups have spent more than $101 million in lobbying on Capitol Hill.

“Too many of our senators and representatives pay more attention to the financial muscle of the gun lobby than to the daily slaughter of innocent fellow citizens and the clear wishes of their constituents,” the petition argues. 

The petition comes amid a national outpouring of grief and pressure on lawmakers to pass new regulations on gun sales after the slayings of 14 people on Wednesday at a social services center in San Bernardino, CA.

“To date, there have been 355 mass shootings (with 4 or more dead) in the U.S. this year,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “Through the millions of dollars they’ve put into electing and influencing lawmakers in Washington and around the nation, the NRA and its allies bear part of the responsibility for this carnage. They have not pulled the triggers, but they have helped people who have no business owning guns obtain them.”