An anti-gun group and Democratic congressmen are calling on the Federal Election Commission and the IRS to launch investigations into the National Rifle Association's methods of soliciting and distributing funds.
After an investigation by Yahoo News, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) has started a petition and is mounting pressure on Congress to initiate the investigations, Yahoo News
In April, Yahoo News published a report
alleging that the NRA had violated various election and finance laws by raising funds for its NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF) without disclosing to donors that the money would go to the PVF; by soliciting political contributions from donors other than NRA employees and members; by failing to post required disclaimers; and by not reporting "nearly $33 million" in political expenditures for federal elections between 2008 and 2013, on which, if reported, "the NRA would have owed more than $600,000 in taxes to the federal government," Yahoo News says.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told Yahoo News, "If donations have been used to support candidates or causes with deception to the donors, there is a likely violation of law. NRA donors deserve to know where their donations are going without any misinformation, and the solicitations described by Yahoo News merit scrutiny."
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., told Yahoo News, "Everyone needs to play by the same set of rules. If the evidence reported is true, the FEC and IRS should conduct a full and thorough investigation into its [NRA's] fundraising and reporting activities.
"Many Second Amendment supporters and responsible gun owners contribute to the NRA because of the work it does to promote gun safety and support the hunting community. They have a right to know whether their money is going to these causes or to Beltway-NRA political efforts that undermine common-sense laws designed to keep criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill from getting guns," Thompson said.
Said Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn.: "I join with gun safety advocates in calling for an immediate and thorough investigation. The NRA is not above the law."
While the NRA has not commented on the accusations, the CSGV
alleged, "Among other revelations, the investigation discovered that the gun lobby is illegally using donations it solicits for nonpolitical purposes to pay for electioneering, and then failing to disclose the contributions as required by federal law."
"They [the NRA] apparently believe they are above the law. They are not, and it's time to hold them accountable."
CSGV spokesman Ladd Everitt said the alleged violations were "hugely significant" and urged the federal government to "launch investigations into the NRA's fraudulent activities immediately," Yahoo News reported.
Should the allegations prove correct, Yahoo News says, they "may provide an opening to rein in the nation's most powerful gun lobby."
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