The National Rifle Organization has spent nearly $400,000 on federal elections in Alabama since 1989, with the majority of those funds used to benefit U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, according to campaign finance data compiled by OpenSecrets.
Of the more than $396,000 the NRA has spent in the state on federal campaigns involving current office holders, Shelby has received more than $258,000, or 65% of NRA donations in Alabama, according to the data. .
Of the 531 current members of Congress, Shelby ranks 27th in NRA money, according to Open Secrets, which is run by the Center for Responsive Politics.
This includes nearly $86,000 in “direct support” of the firearms organization — defined by Open Secrets as contributions from the NRA PAC and its employees — and more than $172,000 in “independent support,” or the money the NRA spent to boost Shelby’s campaigns.
While Shelby’s longevity in Congress — 43 years — partly explains why he leads Alabama in NRA money, he also votes in line with the gun lobby’s agenda.
On his Senate website, Shelby says he believes Gun control legislation is unconstitutional.
“I don’t believe that restrictive gun laws are the answer to fighting violent crime in America. Such measures only prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves because criminals, by definition, refuse to obey the law,” the website states. “Alternatively, I think we need to enforce the laws already in place, combat the culture of violence in society and address the underlying mental health issues that can contribute to such heinous acts. We must also ensure that those who commit gun crimes are held accountable for their actions and receive prompt and certain punishment commensurate with their crimes. »
Shelby has an “A+” rating with the NRA, which endorsed his last re-election bid, in 2016.
A spokeswoman for the senator could not immediately be reached for comment.
The seven Republicans in the Alabama congressional delegation received contributions from the NRA.
The only Democrat on the delegation, Rep. Terri Sewell of Birmingham, received no money from the NRA. The organization spent $71 on one of its previous campaign opponents, according to OpenSecrets, which put Sewell’s “grand total” of NRA money at -$71.
Here’s how much NRA money the rest of Alabama’s congressional delegation receives and their rank among members of Congress:
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville): $73,965 (52nd)
Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks): $34,226 (89th)
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.): $9,900 (203rd)
Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville): $7,194 (220th)
Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover): $7,169 (221st)
Representative Jerry Carl (R-Mobile): $2,000 (243rd)
Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise): $1,000 (252nd)
Rep. Terry Sewell (D-Birmingham): -$71 ($381)